Older Australians are increasingly finding themselves in a new stage in their careers in the years between the end of their 50s and the beginning of retirement.
Marc Freedman, founder of the not-for-profit organisation Encore.org, has dubbed these ‘the encore years’, and believes they’re when people can use their experience make some of their most important contributions to society.
“We are in the position to make a monument from what used to be the leftover years, a second chance for people of all stripes to ascend the ladder of contribution and fulfilment, and an opportunity for society to grow up along with its population,” Freedman wrote in his book The Big Shift: Navigating the new stage beyond midlife.
“It’s time for a shift – a shift in thinking and in culture, in social institutions and public policies, a shift from what worked in the past to what can carry us into the future.”
Freedman will be visiting Australia in June to talk about the phenomenon of ‘encore careers’ and the potential they hold for Australian business.
A key initiative of Freedman’s organisation is the Encore Fellowships program, which matches professionals at their end of their midlife careers to social and charity organisations.
These fellowships, which are paid, allow professionals to begin ‘encore careers’, which combine personal meaning with social impact, all while ensuring the fellows are still earning an income.
Doug Jacquier, former CEO of Australian not-for-profit Connecting Up, has teamed up with Encore to look at the possibility of establishing fellowship programs in Australia.
“Australia has an abundance of mature experience and knowledge in its workforce and Australia’s not-for-profits and charities increasingly need high level skills to grow their capability to address pressing social needs,” says Jacquier.
“We need to find a way to help that mature workforce transition to a second or encore career, and at the same time, build the capacity of the not-for-profit sector to do what it does even better.”
Find out more about Encore.org here.