Q: What was your primary career and what did you love about it?
A: My primary career over the years evolved from instructional graphic design through instructional media and training design eventually into marketing. The common thread for all is strong visual communication; but my last role in the corporate world was particularly rewarding, where I was able to pull from the many aspects of my “evolved” career to successfully managing a global online training program for our key marketing agencies.
Q: When you retired, did you feel ‘finished’ or, for you, was there still something left to do?
A: I was able to retire earlier than planned from my corporate job, but didn’t look at this opportunity as an early “permanent vacation”.
Q: What inspires you and why?
A: I’ve always been inspired by people who see an issue or problem, and, instead of complaining or becoming discouraged, take action to address it. And I especially admire someone who has personally suffered, but responds with “now, what can I do to help anyone else going through this same journey?”.
Q: How does your unique set of experiences make a difference for the community in your work now?
A: Having enjoyed working previously with so many (design and marketing) agencies, I find it very comfortable to work with a large group of local (non-profit) agencies and organizations. But now the purpose is to network and raise awareness of related resources and shared goals to support a segment of the community. Previously, several of these non-profit organizations did not know that some of the other like-minded agencies existed. My executive director and I hosted an initial networking breakfast, that led to teaming up with one of the other agencies to trade off hosting meetings on a more regular basis. As of a recent meeting, these organizations have voted to become a more formalized coalition to work on issues together. We have also created and published a “family resource” coalition directory, that’s also useful for our coalition members to identify “We don’t offer this certain service, but here’s another organization who does!”.
Q: What’s your advice for boomers who are about to launch their own “second act”?
A: Definitely spend some time researching organizations with missions that interest you, but also start with “Know Thyself”, what you believe makes life meaningful, and where you are in your life. Ask yourself is this “second act” to be temporary or long-term, or full- vs. part-time. Maybe you are drawn to a particular organization in the community, but the available role that meets the organization’s needs will required a little more training or certification. I also found the book “Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life” to be very helpful to make sense of major life transitions, and to move on to new ways to find fulfillment.