When Marc Freedman’s book, Prime Time was published ten years ago, it raised awareness about the risk of America wasting its only growing natural resource – older adults. Civic engagement of older adults in both paid and unpaid roles is an idea that has taken hold in many quarters.The “big idea” displayed here emphasizes the potential for enormous social impact. While one outcome is to help baby boomers find engaging opportunities as they head into later years, the larger purpose is about harnessing a rich talent resource on behalf of society.
Marc Freedman, the founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, believes strongly that a new life stage is emerging between the middle years and old age. It doesn’t have a name and we don’t yet have a good understanding of the framework for it. But anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson understands that what’s developing is not simply an extension of midlife. Given the heavy demands of midlife responsibilities and the prospect of longer working lives, she calls for a pause, a time for reflection, revisioning, to reframe one’s goals and direction before taking up the next chapter. At Civic Ventures we’ve come up with a graphic that we think captures her concept well.
Civic Ventures wants to see this new stage of life emerge as a new social norm where one’s experience and talent are put to work to address our biggest social problems.We call it the encore career: A new stage of work that combines passion, purpose and a paycheck.
Let me leave you with a reminder of why encore careers are so important today and in the future. There are tremendous challenges in our world today – and human talent is at the heart of solving these problems.There is an enormous source of largely untapped human talent in the growing number people who are finishing their midlife careers.A new form of “work,” not our parents’ volunteering, is most likely to appeal to most people and have the greatest potential impact.
Encore Careers: Passion, Purpose & a Paycheck IMLS Western Regional Fellowship Transforming Life After 50 Portland, Oregon – September16, 2010
Fundamental trends Leading-edge boomers are working longer Even in the current economy, “giving back” is a strong motivator for many New pathways are emerging for older adults to paid and unpaid roles with social impact Nonprofits employers need help to prepare for the changes that are coming in the workforce
What we know Half of all Americans age 50-70 want to do work that helps others MetLife/Civic Ventures Encore Survey, 2007
Your Turn Do you know someone in an encore career? Are you in an encore career? 11
The Encore Career Framework Encore pathways: the missing link Millions of Encore Career Seekers Social Sector Employers Job matching Education Training Fellowships Service Experience BigSocial Needs
Encore Job Matching ReServe: supplying skilled employees for dozens of NYC nonprofits & city agencies
Encore Colleges Portland Community College: Creating pathways for re-tooling
Encore Fellowsencore.org/fellowships Leslye Louie and Lyle Hurst: Partners in School Innovation
Encore Service The Kennedy Serve America Act 2009
Your Turn Imagine your own encore career Then ; Now 17