In the Encore Career Stories we are about to tell, we see that there is more of a “reintegration” of skills and talents in new careers.
- Gary turned a life-long hobby and interest into a profitable and meaningful career!
- Kristen combined her passion for assisting non-profits by using the skills and talent she had built up over the last 30 years!
Both of these examples show that you do not have to do a major overhaul or start a major non-profit or save world peace to align your passion and purpose with the work that you choose to pursue!
Gary is currently the Associate Vice President with Raymond James Investments. Gary made a significant shift in his career about 17 years ago when he decided to leave his job with the St Petersburg Police Department. After 25 years on the force and another 4 years in the US Coast Guard, he decided there was something more that he wanted to do in the second half of his life.
Throughout his long and challenging work on the police force, Gary was always very interested in following the stock market and looking at ways to better manage his own financial investments. In fact, he really liked doing that, not only for himself but for others, so he served on the pension board for the police. Other people also noticed his skills and talent in this area, so around the time when retirement packages became an option, a close friend and former Mayor offered him a job he could not refuse – working for an investment firm. Gary had always loved investing but also loved learning new things so he jumped in with great eagerness to attain all of the licenses he needed to hang the shingle out.
The greatest impact for Gary as he made this significant job shift was the opportunity to help others to manage their money, help his clients solve problems and make good sound financial decisions. Helping others was a common theme and core value for Gary even when he was serving on the police force.
His approach to financial advising has also left a great impact on his clients as well. He has gone the extra mile for his clients by helping make life planning decisions as well as financial decisions. He has become a trusted advisor and family friend in so many situations.
Although challenged with learning a whole new industry, it turned out to be a rich reward because he was so eager to learn everything that there was to learn about the financial industry. The rewards from the job are numerous, from mentoring the younger financial advisors, to serving on boards that benefit from talent and knowledge, to seeing the financial success of his clients. His greatest happiness is helping clients to achieve their financial goals and advising clients on problem solving and planning for life changing events and the unexpected events that we all face in life.
Gary’s advice for others who are considering making a big job shift in careers:
- Preparation: Do you homework. Learn everything you can about the industry and the job.
- Find out what it is going to take to make this kind of change in job role and job skills.
- Know yourself: Are you willing to commit the time and energy to learn and change for this new career?
Once you know all of these factors – you are ready to leap into a job or career that really aligns with your interests, skills or passion!
Kristen is currently the Director of Human Resources for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Kristen is now applying her 30 years of professional experience to an entirely new environment – the non profit world. She feels this is a great way to bring together her life long interest in volunteerism with her chosen profession.
Her move from the corporate world into this job was truly a fluke. She saw a job posting while reviewing the work of her recruiters. She could not stop thinking about this job and how that really piqued her interest. She had always thought that after she retired from her career she would devote her time volunteering for worthwhile cause so this job opportunity allowed her a way to have more meaning and purpose in her life while still using her skills and earning an income! There was also another external event that motivated her to think differently and go for this job. There was a serious illness in her family that gave her a whole new perspective, causing herself to ask, “Why wait for anything that is worth doing?”
Working at the Girls Scouts has had a great impact in her life. She really enjoys the hands on direct work where she has the “floor to ceiling” involvement. She is feeling quite energized by something new.
She also has been making quite an impact on the people she works with. Coming from a very large successful corporation has given her the perspective and tool kit from that experience to be applied in a nonprofit organization.
Her greatest rewards from this new encore career are many. Seeing the mission in action – “Building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place” She loves seeing that driving force in everything the Girls Scouts does. The CEO is always asking as they make big decisions – “What is the impact to the girls?” Kristen said, “In a large corporation you have your shareholders, your customers and multiple customer bases, where here, the girl is at the center of everything, so there are so many direct ties.” The biggest challenge are all the changes in the nature of the job and culture but there are going to be changes in any new job – this is one that really hits home for Kristen.