The encore career movement — compassionate and passionate people over 50 who are immersed in second acts to improve society — is on the march, gingerly. More than 4.5 million Americans age 50 to 70 are working in encore roles today. And 500 encore leaders, along with a few journalists including me, just convened in Tempe, Ariz. at Encore 2014: Building an Encore Nation, the largest conference its host, Encore.org, has held. (The Encore.org 2014 Purpose Prize Awards and The Eisner Foundation’s 2014 Eisner Prizes for Intergenerational Excellence were also presented there.) “The more you look around the corners, the more you find really interesting things being done,” former Disney CEO and Eisner Foundation co-founder Michael Eisner told me at the conference. As one wag at Encore 2014 put it: “We’ve gone from a notion to a nation.” (MORE: Purpose Prize Winners Doing Great Work) At the conference, part inspirational pep rally (its theme: Leave Your Mark; tongue-in-cheek hashtag: #unselfie) and part introspective meetup, attendees bravely addressed some of the big questions facing the encore movement, largely about how to grow it and make it more inclusive. ADVERTISING Addressing 3 Key Questions If you’re considering launching an encore career or are already living one, I think you’ll be interested to hear what I heard. I’ve pulled together highlights by posing three questions and noting answers that were offered. Why aren’t more companies and nonprofits hiring encore careerists or helping their current employees transition into encore careers? Some — such as Intel, IBM, HP, Procter & Gamble, Boeing and Eli Lilly are. Intel, for instance, created Intel Encore Career Fellowships and offers pre-retirees advice about entrepreneurship in midlife. Said Amber Wiseley, who heads up retirement program design at Intel: “We are not in the business of picking the right encore careers, but supporting our employees when they are ready to retire and approach that transition.” Recommended by Forbes Celebrity CruisesVoice: 7 Tips For Planning Your First Cruise My Encore Career: What I Did Right And Wrong FidelityVoice: Fed Raises Rates: What’s Next? Why Learning A Language Could Save Your Career Barriers To Encore Careers Are Falling When You Feel Like The Oldest Person At Work MOST POPULAR Photos: Top College In Every State +70,114 VIEWS Apple Leak Reveals First ‘iPhone 7 Pro’ Images MOST POPULAR Photos: Best And Worst States For Taxes And Encore.org’s Encore Fellowship Network program has placed Fellows at more than 200 nonprofits. Encore President Ann MacDougall called the program a “roaring success,” describing Encore Fellows as “Trojan horses,” because they bring encore talent into organizations and, ideally, lead the nonprofits to hire more of them.
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