Submitted by Larry Bing
Q: What was your primary career and what did you love about it?
A: My primary career was as a package design manager. If you’re not familiar with it, that means that I’m the person that creates and manages the design that goes on the outside of consumer packages. What I loved about it was that it watered both the creative side of my brain along with the analytical side. Each project I worked on had an opportunity to work with color, graphics, fonts to solve marketing challenges. Linked skills to doing that process were schedule creation and management, proposal writing and budget management, client presentations, and managing and directing a creative team.
Q: When you retired, did you feel ‘finished’ or, for you, was there still something left to do?
A: At 60 years of age, I pretty much feel like I’ve done that long enough and now I feel the most interest in wanting to have what I call a “purpose career”. Throughout the last 15 or so years I have done numerous volunteer projects working with organizations like Habitat For Humanity, United Way, and Big Brothers. In addition, I have taken three short-term mission trips to remote villages in Mexico where I have used my DIY skills to help the community. In all of these instances I have felt so filled and satisfied after having served. I definitely feel a calling to find a nonprofit organization that would be aligned with my passion to help the needy. In my first few months after being let go by my previous employer, I am finding getting my foot in the door in this encore career, or discovering the first step of the path, is difficult or at least not evident.
Q: What inspires you and why?
A: What inspires me will vary. In people, I suppose it’s down to earth, humble people, that have a caring heart and want to serve. In America it’s so easy to just get sucked in to following the templates typical American life. That might work for some people but I want more. Beyond people I find inspiration in words, beauty and simplicity in nature. My brain is wired for 3D in a significant way so I have a strong draw to three dimensional forms.
Q: How does your unique set of experiences make a difference for the community in your work now?
A: Because of my education and work experience I know that well designed graphics can make a difference in connecting to an audience. I like to use my gifts for non-commercial projects too and I have done many graphics projects for churches I belonged to including two church logos. Who I am as a person has given me the ability to connect with coworkers and direct reports in a very genuine and supportive way. I like mentoring with less experienced workers and seeing them excel. By far, the most significant life experience was my first mission trip. I walked away from that with all kinds of blessings but the largest one was recognizing the joy of serving.
Q: What’s your advice for boomers who are about to launch their own “second act”?
A: Since I haven’t landed that “next” job, I don’t have anything remarkable to say other than to persevere and follow the essence of the dream you feel. I “see” my next job with my heart and soul but at the moment I’m frustrated by not being able to see the first door that I need to go through. I don’t know if I’m in cocoon time right now while I’m being prepared for the next job but I would like to be moving forward. That’s why this website is my next step. I hope this leads to something real or at least the next step in the process.