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Event: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life

May 23, 2014

On Monday, May 12, a perfect partnership of TTN and Encore.org came together for a lively and insightful panel discussion.  Betsy Werley, now an Encore Innovation Fellow, moderated the conversation entitled “Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life.” 

Panelists included Beth Kempner, Karen Ali and Claire Keyles, each of whom shared their own personal story of transition from their primary career to their next ‘act.’  They shared details of their journeys in each of an encore career – a paid or unpaid second engagement focused on the greater good.  They told of the uncertainty they felt as they moved away from jobs they had known most of their lives; they shared the process they went through to broaden their own views and shared resources they had discovered that helped them along the way.  Susan Collins, TTN Executive Director, also shared some of her experience in transitioning from a career in homebuilding to building a consultancy to leading a nonprofit organization.

Beth Kempner went from her 25 career in advertising to working with an organization that works with former prisoners, something she never envisioned doing.  She supplemented her career experience by completing a certificate program in Nonprofit Management and Fundraising and became one of the early Encore Fellows in NYC.

After practicing law for more than 30 years, Karen Ali has had several transitions from law to healthcare to volunteering through Princeton University’s Alumni Corps to help Good Grief, Inc.  She is a “connector” by nature, easily engaging with all sorts of people, as she continues in her quest for the perfect nonprofit opportunity.

Claire Keyles, also a retired attorney, was among the TTN students who signed up for the pilot program offered by Pace University on the topic of Finding Your Encore Career.  Being an organized and process-oriented thinker, Claire mined the Internet for resources that would help her in her journey.  She shared an excellent list of career transition resources with the attendees.

As moderator of the panel, Betsy Werley brought her experience in the world of transitions and positive aging to the event.  She talked about the importance of connecting, of finding your own passion and about the opportunities that are available for engaged women in a variety of encore careers.

The TTN members and guests who attended were very attentive and stayed long after the program was over to ask more questions of the panelists.  Co-Chairs Ann Freedman and Pam Brownstein were thrilled to see so many new faces and gratified that they were so interested in the topics presented.  The panelists encouraged listeners to evaluate their own skills, determine their passion and then, if necessary, to volunteer in the area they find interesting.