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WHEREVER YOU ARE – Three Ways to Handle Your Encore Career Transition


I am a quote junky.  Quotes provide me with inspiration, provoke my thinking and get my day off to a great start.  I read this one by Eckhart Tolle which motivated me to write today’s blog.

 “Wherever you are, be there totally.  If you find your “here and now” intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.”

Many of my clients bemoan the fact that they are 50+ and don’t know what to do with their lives next and feel like the golden years are not what they thought it would be as they look at another 30-40 years of life.

Tolle’s three options, can be applied to encore career seekers:

1.    Remove yourself from the situation.  It’s a little tough to turn back the chronological clock on age.  What’s intolerable and makes us unhappy, is the negative mindset around age.  Memory and eyesight are going, energy is lagging, lack of appreciation, age discrimination, and medical issues.  Removing yourself from the “situation” of negative thinking about this encore stage of life is the first step to take.   Instead, be grateful for a longer life and what you can do with it.  Focus on the positives of being 50+.   You have survived.  You possess unique talents and skill that can be used.  Engage in possibility thinking.  Take time to make a list of your top reasons why it is great to be in the encore stage of life.  Revisit the list often to keep the positivity going.

2.    Change it.   This option is all about morphing into a new life.  Finances often play heavily in choices.  Take the time to analyze the budget.  What is the bare minimum you can earn and live comfortably.  Maybe it is time to downsize.  I often advise clients to start living on their “skinnied” down budget at least one year before they are going to make a change in careers.  That will be a good test to see if you can make it work for you.  If not, then it means you need to earn more.   If you want to go back to school to pursue a new profession- enroll.  Just take a few classes while you are gainfully employed!  If you want more flexibility in your career – ask your current employer.  If you want a new career – start researching before you leave your job and work with a coach.  If you want to just kick back and relax – enjoy!

3.    Accept it totally.   The cycle of change follows the SARA model.  Shock, anger, recognition and acceptance.  Change is not easy and acceptance is often a bumpy road as we navigate the first three stages of SARA.  The sooner you get to acceptance, the more comfortable you will be to move boldly into the change that is needed.  Accept that 30-40 more years of life is a gift.  It is a time to “do over”.  But, this time you have the wisdom you didn’t have in your youth.  It can be a time of retooling, renewal, and reinvention.

Tolle encourages us to ponder:  “Wherever you are, be there totally”.   How can you do that beginning today?

Katie Weiser and Hallie Crawford, Certified Career Coaches