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Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. She gained functional experience in a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 20 years. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires more thought than 20 years ago. Unexpected changes in life force us to consider the future. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Encore Careers in Unlikely Places


Monday Morning Pep Talk

Working past the age most people retire improves the chance that you won’t outlive your money. 70 is the target age to stop working according to a study from the Center for Retirement Research and was reported in the most recent issue of Money magazine. One of the big questions I am asked both online and at presentations is, “who will hire me at 64 (insert any age 50+)?” Actually there are jobs for older workers and as the economy continues to improve more and more people who dropped out of the workforce are finding there way back. Here are suggestions and if you know great careers for experienced workers, please share. I would love to hear about them.

  • Work for Yourself: You don’t have to begin Kentucky Fried Chicken like Harlan Sanders did when he was 65. You could turn a hobby into a business or use your business expertise to provide consulting. I know a couple in their mid-50s who quit their corporate jobs to start a promotional item/event planning business that carried them into a more secure retirement over the next 15 years. If you have the good health, energy and risk-tolerance to start a big business, go for it! Remember my friend chronicled in this post who began a vineyard after a 25 year career in medical sales?     http://workinglater.blogspot.com/2011/11/turning-your-passion-into-career.html   I’ve heard real estate, professional organizers and home stagers are new favorite encore careers that will require certification and/or licensure to be competitive.

  • Teaching: Yes teaching! It is not what it used to be. There are so many options. With a Master's degree you can teach at the community college level in your area of expertise. Many time your students are also non-traditional, so you are interacting with people who want to be in class hearing the knowledge and experiences you have to share. You can also teach online in your bunny slippers and no one will know. One of my “retired” neighbors teaches a few days a week at a preschool and she loves the interaction. Visit ccteach.org to learn more about teaching at higher grades.

  • Health Care: While some positions in health care are being downsized, there are entire new health care job functions being created. Jobs for patient navigators or patient advocates are worth looking into if you like the idea of helping people and have an interest in health care. There are certification programs to make you more competitive. You can learn more by visiting the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants.

  • Government Work: Am I crazy? No, I am not. Check USAJobs.gov to see which agencies are hiring in your area. I met a woman who mid-career decided that a government position would provide her the pension that none of her corporate jobs had offer even thought she spent 18 years in the workforce. So, she transferred her corporate training skills into a position with a federal agency and transferred to the Department of Homeland Security when we met. That agency didn’t even exist when she moved into the public sector. Since its inception in 2002, the Department of Homeland Security employs 240,000 with an annual budget of $60B in fiscal year 2013. Oh yeah, and that pension…they still have them through the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).


Think creatively about encore careers especially if could not imagine doing your current job until age 70. You may want to go back for certification or training earlier (in your 40s or 50s) to make yourself more competitive and prepared for a new career when you are ready to make your move. Also, watch out for scams offering training, certification or education that sounds too good to be true.

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