Category Archives for Encore Career

Eight Key Sites to Inspire Your Encore Career

Whether you want to (or have to) continue working, or you're set financially and eager to donate your time, wisdom, experience and resources to a cause that you find worthy, don't waste this opportunity to create your ideal encore career. Here are my picks for the top eight websites where you’ll find information and inspiration (not listed in any particular order):

1. Encore Careers: http://www.encore.org/
Not interested in endless years of leisure? Want to resurrect your youthful idealism and put it to work for the greater good? Is having an income still an important part of your financial picture?

Encore promotes careers that combine personal fulfillment, social impact and continued income, enabling people to put their passion to good use in real jobs tackling real problems and that make a real impact.

A 2008 Civic MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures survey found that more than 5 million people ages 44 to 70 have begun encore careers. Of those not already in encore careers, half say they want them. Are you one of them?

2. AARP Working Options: http://www.aarp.org/money/careers/
Are you changing careers, job hunting, or thinking about starting your own business? You'll find a terrific collection of resources for workers 50+ here. It's a constantly changing, evolving, potpourri of timely information.

3. Best 50+ Employers: http://www.aarp.org/money/work/best_employers/
If you're job hunting, you'll definitely want to check out this site which is updated annually. And, if you're thinking about moving abroad, take a look at the best international employers list.

4. Vocation Vacations: http://www.vocationvacations.com
Have an idea of what you'd like to be doing, but don't have a clue if you'd really like it? What if you could immerse yourself in this job on your next vacation? What would it be like to test drive your dream job and see if it's worthy of going the distance?

Now you can at Vocation Vacations. Experience any career from winemaker and TV broadcaster to B&B owner and shoe designer, usually priced from one to three days. How cool is that?

5. Bizstarters.com: http://www.bizstarters.com
Are you an entrepreneur at heart, age 50+? Do you have a great idea for your own business? Could you use some solid guidance?

I highly recommend The Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide. Owner Jeff Williams is a living, breathing example of a successful 50+ entrepreneur. He's been there and done that and can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Bizstarters loves helping entrepreneurial Boomers successfully launch and run their own small businesses by combining a disciplined planning process, a shared community, carefully selected products and services, a committed interactive dialogue, and a sincere desire to witness successfully launched businesses.

6. OnlineBizU.com: http://www.onlinebizu.com
Want to own your own business, but want the freedom of being able to go where you want, when you want? What if you could take what you know and market it on the Internet in a successful virtual business?

Donna Gunter has taken her wealth of Internet marketing knowledge, her thirst for staying on top of the latest Internet marketing trends, and her desire to help Boomers create meaningful, successful, thriving Internet businesses, and created a must-see website for everything you need to know about creating a thriving online business.

7. Experience Corps: http://www.experiencecorps.org/index.cfm
This award-winning national program, engages people over 55 in meeting their communities' greatest challenges. Two thousand (2000) members of Experience Corps tutor and mentor in 23 cities across the country, providing literacy coaching, homework help, consistent role models and committed, caring attention.

Independent research shows that Experience Corps boosts student academic performance, helps schools and youth-serving organizations become more successful, and enhances the well-being of older adults in the process. It’s a win-win-win for everyone!

8. Volunteer Match: http://www.volunteermatch.org
This is a terrific site for finding the perfect volunteer opportunity – both ongoing and project based – in your community. Not to worry if you live in a more rural area. I do, too, and I found three web pages filled with great volunteer openings.

If you know of an inspirational site not listed here, please let me know. Meanwhile, may your journey discovering your ideal encore career be joyful, and may you find the perfect fit that ignites your passion, and provides purpose and pizzazz in your life!

6 Truths About Choosing the Encore Career of Your Dreams

You're leaving your current career behind, either because it's time to move on or you've been retired before you're ready. You want to (or have to) continue to work. You can't imagine spending the next decade or more doing more of what you've been doing. You like the idea of an encore career, but you're not sure exactly what an encore career is. Here's the 411 on encore careers. They:

1. Are Not the Same Old Same Old. Tell the truth. How many times in your current career have you chosen the next logical step or the path of least resistance whether it felt right or not? How long has it been since you felt truly challenged and exhilarated by your work? Have you ever?

Think of your encore career as a giant step away from what you've been doing, especially if what you've been doing no longer pulls you out of bed each morning. Let go of the way you've always gone about finding what's next, and come at it from a brand new angle. An encore career should be fresh, exhilarating, and engaging.

2. Require You to Think (Way) Outside the Box. Don't just take the lid off the box you're in, actually step out of — and then get rid of — it altogether. This is the perfect opportunity to reinvent yourself in a way that (maybe for the first time in your life) is a purest expression of your authentic self. You can't do that if you’re trapped inside a box that no longer fits who you are, where you want to be, and what you want to be doing. Be bold in your approach, and you'll reap the rewards for years to come.

3. Are Fulfilling. Have you ever been so fully engaged in an activity (for me it's working on a mosaic project) that you completely lose track of time? Remember how much fun you were having; how filled to overflowing you felt? That's the feeling you're going for in an encore career.

You will be fulfilled in your encore career because it will satisfy your deepest desires and be aligned with what you value most at this time of your life. You know what it's like to be unfulfilled in your work. You don't need to go there again.

4. Are Meaningful. What's the purpose of an encore career? It's simple: to give you a purpose, a reason for living. An encore career should move your soul and touch your heart because you're living the life you’re meant to be living. Only then will you find the meaning you’re yearning for.

5. Make a Contribution. This is a vital part of an encore career. It's not about working for the sake of working. It's not even about working for the sake of making money (although you may need to). It's about making a difference on the planet. And, since you've gotten rid of the box and are thinking bigger and bolder than ever before, you'll discover that there are lots of different ways to make a difference.

Of course, you could use your abundance of talent to help solve one of the abundance of problems we face in the 21st century. You could also start a business that employs people in your community, while providing a product or service that improves people's lives. You might write books that inform or create works of art that inspire. Expand your thinking to explore all the different ways you can make a contribution.

6. Can Be Lucrative. If you're set financially and want to volunteer your time and your talent to a worthy cause, great. If your retirement nest egg has taken a hit, or wasn't that big to begin with, and it's important to make good money — get creative. There are lots of ways to make money, make a difference, have a purpose and live your values. You'll have to let go of your dinky thinking and those stinky old limiting beliefs that will only hold you back. But, it'll be worth it.

Getting a different picture of what an encore career really is? Excited about the possibilities? Give yourself permission to retire the part of your life – your work — that no longer fits, and embark on the encore career of your dreams!

Boomer Job Search: Confidently Create Your Encore Career

Okay. You're not as young as you used to be. The job market is shrinking along with your 401k. You need to keep working.

If you've been downsized (or if you know deep in your soul that you just can't keep doing what you're doing), does the prospect of looking for a job make you want to run screaming from the room? Is one of your major concerns your age? Don't buy into the conventional wisdom that you're “over the hill”, over qualified, and unemployable. I guarantee you, if your age is a problem for you, it will be a problem for any prospective employer.

In my early 40s, I wanted to break into local television production in a major market city. I did my round of interviewing for an internship. Honestly, it never occurred to me that my age would be a barrier. I was floored when a 22-year old male production assistant at the FOX station asked me if I wasn't “a little long in the tooth” to be changing careers.

I looked him square in the eye, and told him that I'd been on his side of the desk, and if I had my choice between hiring a 20-something more interested in her Saturday night date than the work, and me who had 20 years of solid work experience to bring to the table, I'd hire me in a heart beat. I was offered – and turned down – the internship.

Okay, you say. That was in your 40s; being in your 50s or 60s is different. Not so. My 63-year-old client Darlene lost her job when the major financial institution she worked for closed down her entire division, and with it her lucrative sales job. Instead of panicking, she took some much-needed R&R for a few months. When she was recharged, she jumped into her job search with much gusto, and gave not one thought to her age. She set up four job interviews in two weeks, received two job offers, and is a valued member of her new sales team.

It's all about what YOU believe, and how that projects to others. If you're worried about your age, you'll reek of a lack of confidence. If you believe in your abilities, experience, resources, and wisdom, you'll convey utter confidence. Who would you rather hire?

And remember, there's no such thing as being “over the hill”. When you reach the top of each hill, what's waiting for you is your next great adventure!

7 Key Steps to Determine What You Really Want

I strongly believe it’s important to go on an internal journey to discover what you really want to be doing in your encore career. This is especially important if in previous transitions you made decisions based on what seemed like the next logical step or what was expected of you, but didn’t end up with a great fit, doing work you love, with people you enjoyed working with.

There are some pretty cool steps you can take that will help you determine what’s in your heart, what would keep you engaged, passionate and purposeful, or as I like to say, what would pull you out of bed each day excited about what the day will bring.

So, where do you start? By determining what it is you really want.

If you're like 95% of all of my clients over the years, you’re starting out not having a clue what you want. No problem, because I’ll bet, again like my clients, you can be pretty articulate about what you don’t want. So that’s where we’re going to start.

The first step in determining what you want is a simple — yet powerful — exercise that goes like this:

1. Get quiet. Sit down in a quiet place with a pen and notepad, and draw a vertical line down the center of each page you use.

2. Career dislikes. In the left-hand column, start by writing down everything about your current (or previous) career that you don’t like (i.e. “being chained to my desk”, “the wicked commute”, “my boss’s nasty personality”, “too many rules and regulations”).

3. Note what worries you. Next, write down everything that makes you anxious, concerned, worried, or fearful about what might be next (i.e. “not having enough money”, “being bored”, “starting over again”, “being consumed by the work”, “having to go back to school”.)

4. Note your life dislikes. Finally, write down everything about your current life that you don’t like, or that worries you, makes you anxious, etc. (i.e. “living where the winters are cold”, “not being close enough to a town/city center to walk everywhere”, “being 30 pounds overweight”.)

Got a good long list? Great, now comes the fun part.

5. Reframe your thoughts. In the right hand column, one-by-one, reframe what you wrote down into a positive sentence, in the present tense.

Here are some examples of reframing those things that you don’t want:

Don’t Want

Reframed

My boss’s nasty personalityI work for and with people who are fun, respectful, and share my values.

OR

I am my own fabulous boss.

Too many rules and regulationsI work in a fast-paced, spontaneous environment where my creative ideas are welcomed and embraced.
Being consumed by the workI do work that I love, and I have plenty of time to spend with friends and family, and pursue other interests.
Being 30 pounds overweightI am healthy, fit, and have an abundance of energy to accomplish all that I set out to do.

6. Now you try it. One by one, reframe what you don’t want until it puts a smile on your face. If you’re smiling, or tingling inside, or just plain feeling good, you’ll know you’re on the right track. If you’re having trouble with one, skip over it, and come back to it later.

7. Break and return. Take a break for awhile, before reading through your reframed sentences.

When you read the right-hand column, you should see an excellent list beginning to reveal itself of what you want your encore career (and life) to look like. It’s not a complete picture yet, but it’s a terrific start. Meanwhile, keep adding to your “Don’t Wants” list and reframing them into your “Wants” to help you create your encore career and life.

The Secret Opportunity That Begins with Retirement

Of course retirement is scary. Whether you've chosen to retire – or been forced to – you still find yourself facing the great unknown. The current economy makes it even scarier.

At the same time you have an amazing opportunity for an encore life or encore career. Do you realize you have a blank canvas on which to create the rest of your life – even if you have to continue working? Instead of focusing on the scary parts, what if you began focusing on the possibilities?

This is your chance to get it right, but you'll need to give yourself permission to discover what's in your heart, and uncover what you really want to do as an encore career.

Claire had spent her entire life taking care of everyone around her, and over the years had lost touch with herself. When she was given 12 months notice that she would be “retired” from her job after 17 years of service, she didn't waste one minute being angry or upset. Claire realized that her forced “retirement” was a blessing in disguise, and it gave her the time she needed to explore what might be next for her.

As we worked together, she started stretching outside her comfort zone by doing some fun things she'd always wanted to do like taking motorcycle lessons and her first vacation by herself. As her confidence began to build, she discovered her entrepreneurial spirit, and three months before she left her job, she launched her own business – a concierge relocation business that incorporates what she's always done with what she most loves to do.

What if, unlike Claire, you're “retired” with no notice? What if you're pushed out before you've had a chance to figure out what's next? Don’t panic.

Instead of leaping into any job when she was laid off, Darlene took four months off to recharge. Then, within a couple of weeks she had four job interviews, two job offers, and took one of them. While she was recharging she discovered that she, too, wanted to start her own business. She decided to turn her love of quilting into a business, but felt that she “wasn't quite ready” and “needed to start making money again” once she had taken some time off.

After a few months in the new job, though, Darlene saw clearly that she really wanted to work for herself, so she left the job, and committed herself full-time to launching her business – an online quilt fabric store. She's about to go live with her dream, and she's happier than she’s been in years.

You, too, may discover you want to be your own boss. Or, you may realize you love what you do, but want to transform how and where you're doing it. Or perhaps you'll uncover a long-buried dream, and make it come true. The only way you'll know is to take some time to find out.