Boomers Take a Bow—Your Encore Career is Here!

By  |  16 Comments

Life imitates art and at times parallels a three-act play:  Act 1 (childhood) you meet your cast of characters:  Act II (young adulthood) encounter problems and adversaries and Act III (now) seek resolution on how the rest of your life will play out.  You’re not alone in this theatre of life.  It’s estimated there are nearly 40 million women considering what I call their encore career.

So, now that it’s time to live happily ever after, use your hard-earned wisdom to retire age-old issues, cast off unwanted ‘characters’ and begin to rewrite the screenplay that is your life.

Summer and Menopause:  Peri-retirement and Reflection

Menopause is a powerful catalyst to look at your own life, especially after taking care of everybody else’s!  Your might still be caretaking—we are the sandwich generation—but long summer days, even with hot flashes, offer time to take pause and reflect on what’s next for the central character—you!  It starts with carving out time and space in which to ponder.

After years of running the kids to all of their practices, ferrying snacks to games and holding down a full-time job, it is finally time to let go and follow your own path and passion.

Scientists say it is this gift of time that will be a great help while examining your feelings and experiences.

Give Yourself a Break!

Research shows that self-compassion goes a long way toward lessening the physical symptoms of menopause.  When you feel better you think better.   Find your perfect space, whether it’s some nice shade outside, a meditation room—or even the front seat of your car to think about what’s next.

That can be daunting—after all you’re wiser, but do you still have what it takes?  Some studies flat out show that motherhood affects wage earning, and that’s okay, because what’s different at this time of life, is discovering an encore career that you love and one that isn’t just about the money.

A television broadcast friend of mine used to call this, ‘One for the meal and one for the reel,’ meaning she did some news stories for the paycheck and others because she was insanely interested in the subject matter.  Funny thing happened along the way—doing something because you love it somehow ensures life’s bits and pieces fall into place—and the money soon follows.

Life Experience Rocks!

This is a good time to consider all you’ve done and how it can be woven into the fabric of your new adventure.  Know when it’s time to retreat into your own sanctuary and rethink how you’ll approach life’s adventures.  In addition to ‘alone time,’ call upon the sisterhood for advice and phone a friend.  It’s proven that friendship is a powerful bond which strengthens your immune system and helps you live longer.  Touching base with your buds and sharing plans for your next chapter will clarify things!  It really helps to know how others approach their own third act.

Jeri enjoyed a long career as teacher and principal, but she feared retirement because of the associated boredom and lack of a firm schedule.

She stayed in the same career field and let colleagues know she was ‘back on the market.’  Then, the offers came in and she says it was the greatest feeling to still be wanted!  Now, as a university mentor, she serves as an encourager for others and says that is what brings her renewed purpose and joy.

“I look forward to this next chapter because finally it will be about ME and what I want.  My children are raised, my husband is happy.  Time to relax!”

So, rather than just dealing with menopause and its physical symptoms, focus on the future as you replay your own life experience.  It’s time to flip menopause on its ear and embrace this time of your life.

You know, time has a way of passing before we’re fully ready.  Your third act is here—already. The curtain is about to go up!  Are you ready for your close-up?

Suffering in Silence is Out!  Reaching Out is In!

After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

  • linda

    Hi Ellen:)
    Wow! This is all so encouraging.
    Love what you said: when you feel better you think better.
    Having a disability is challenging, but ive learned to cope. Then menapause hit, and for a while it seemed like I would never be able to have a purpose.
    Thank God the change {menopause} doesn’t just mean we keep feeling like crap.
    Like Jeri’s story,we can get renewed and have a joyful purpose♡

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Linda….. thanks for sharing your challenges and thoughts with us. Here is to renewed, joyful purpose!

  • ann

    This article speaks volumes to me at this moment in time. For the last 3 months I have been pondering a career change, but fearful to make any change at all. An unexpected divorce three years ago threw my life into a direction of needing to work, which is great because that is really what I needed. After ten years out of the “traditional” workforce, I still had what it took to land a good job doing what I did prior to leaving the workforce to care for my children. But, if you would have asked me if that was my career of choice, I would have said “NO”, but it is what I know how to do and was able to earn the most money doing. So here I am .. pondering opening a franchise…. petrified it won’t work…. but equally petrified I will be doing this same job until I am more grey and more old. Thanks for the words of encouragement Ellen.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Ann, go for it! Fear is what holds us back….. there are no dress rehearsal as they say….this life is the real deal! Give the franchise a whirl! Good Luck and keep us posted!!!

  • WOW! “40 million women considering what I call their encore career”

    Inspiring! Thank you!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      We are never alone, Esther!

  • This is such a wonderful time of life. Clarity and freedom…what a powerful combination!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      That is so true, Sheryl. I love those two words – clarity and freedom!!

  • You’re a continual, dependable source of knowledge and inspiration. I love that, Ellen. (And I appreciate you confirming this is the THIRD act… when for quite some time I’ve considered it my second.)

    Cheers to ALL acts, including those to come.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      The more acts the better, Lisa! I shall toast to all of them tonight!

  • Heading into the third act with all the grace and dignity we should Ellen! I love your perspective and how you pivot when needed and shift where you can! Another great piece!

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Thanks, Ruth. I love the sisterhood….we are always there to support and encourage each other.

  • Wow, 40 million women! It feels amazing to be part of such a positive and powerful large group.
    I have been saying second act also. It really is the third.
    Thank you for once again sharing such inspiring news.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Doreen, I think every act is even better than the last!

  • This is such an empowering post. I feel like I’m in good company with 40 million other women, and love the idea that we have the power to write the script for the rest of our lives.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Wow….Lois, thanks for your beautiful – inspiring words!