Fitting work around life in an encore career

By Val Leveson

Patti Gwynne coaches many baby boomers who want to have an "encore career".
Patti Gwynne coaches many baby boomers who want to have an "encore career".

There comes a time in many people's lives when they feel they have nothing to prove any more. They've had their demanding, successful career, and now they want more quality of life - but they don't want to disappear into retirement.

Principal coach at Coaching Partners, Patti Gwynne, says: "It's all about life design. There comes a stage when you've been up the career ladder and don't want the pressures that a six-figure salary brings.

"Perhaps you want more social engagement or to spend more time with family, but you're not ready to retire completely."

Gwynne coaches many baby boomers who want to have what's called an "encore career", which, she says, is often something that someone has a personal connection to. "Say someone has been a hobby photographer for years - their encore could be in freelance photography."

Gwynne herself has embarked on an encore career. From managing 40 staff in an IT company, she realised that although she was earning well, she wasn't getting a lot of satisfaction.

"I did some work on my values, which I realised were freedom, flexibility and mobility. I used these as the principles to create my encore career.

"I also looked at what I enjoyed in my previous job - I loved working with staff and seeing what they were capable of. I decided I wanted to continue to work with people, but on my own."

Eventually, Gwynne did the required training and embarked on her coaching business - she could be her own boss, could choose her own hours, and could operate wherever she wanted. She could create a life/work design that worked for her.

"It's no longer about fitting my life around my work, now I have the opportunity to fit my work around my life. I decided I would only see clients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and keep Mondays and Fridays as flexible days. "

Gwynne says it's about taking a holistic perspective of things.

Gwynne's website features more information on embarking on encore careers.

- NZ Herald

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