The concept of an “encore career” is spearheaded by the US non-profit called Encore.org. If you come to this article wondering what on earth I am talking about, here is their definition:
“An ‘encore’ or ‘encore career’ is continued work in the second half of life that combines social impact, purpose, and often, continued income. While many people see their encore work as a ‘career,’ others associate the career language with the ‘achieving’ stage of life. For that reason, we talk about an encore role, work, or activity – or simply ‘an encore’. […]
“An encore can be paid or volunteer, and doesn’t have to be limited to the nonprofit sector. And it’s much more about life stage than age. That said, the encore stage sits squarely in those years that used to comprise retirement.”
Starting a new career at any age requires a major decision and some conscious effort. To assist with your decision making, I thought I would outline some of the pros and cons I experienced as I started out in a new career when I found myself suddenly retired at 60.
It is interesting to note that many sources place the cut-off age for starting a NEW career at 61, so I take that to infer that if it is work in an industry you know, with a change in focus, hey, you can start at any age!
With an encore career we get the opportunity to follow our hearts, something most of us find easier in our 60s than we did in our 40s, when we had mortgages, school fees, and car payments hanging over our heads.
This means, as an encore we get to do something we are passionate about, and it may not necessarily feel like “work.” We see many examples of later-bloomers all around us – Judi Dench and Maggi Smith, together with Morgan Freeman, are a few well known ones.
For me, the pros far outweigh the cons. I have found it very lonely at times, and I have spent more hours than I can count trying to master and keep up with technology, but when I retire after a day of doing what I love, I am eternally grateful.
At nearly 70, I am more grounded, realistic, and generally more mature than I ever was on my journey to 60. Perhaps I needed a reminder of this yesterday, as I struggled to persuade LinkedIn to accept my photograph for a new business page!
So, look on an encore career as the opportunity to earn money doing what you love, and then grab that opportunity with both hands.
What is your current state of work? Are you retired, still working actively, or have you started on an encore career? How is that working out for you? Please share your stories with our community.
Tags Encore Careers
Your article is spot on!! As a Corporate Refugee I became a High School Teacher in my 50’s and retired from that career to move onto my next career as a Crisis Counselor and Domestic Violence Victim’s Advocate. I work on a crisis HelpLine as well as the 988 Suicide Prevention Line. The beauty of all of this is that you can choose your level of involvement. Work, help, be active, or not – to your own sensibilities. Consider that there is so much wisdom that we all have but many just don’t know it. I refuse to sit on the porch and “rust” and know that there are so many causes/issues that could benefit by our wisdom. I know we all have made mistakes, lord knows I’ve made more that most, but crashing and burning, then learning through these things gives us insight to help others. For me, I understand myself better (the goods, bads, and uglies) and am more at peace than I have ever been. And what price can you put on inner peace?
Thanks for the article.