Discovering the things that give us a sense of purpose can be difficult, no matter what our age. Once we do figure out what fulfills us, however, we find empowering and positive experiences that elevate our wellbeing. For older adults, it’s especially important to understand and pursue the things that give life meaning.
Having a sense of purpose affects our health in a number of ways. From contributing to increased strength, happiness, and motivation to the prevention of chronic diseases and loneliness, finding meaning in the things we do helps us age well.
One way to follow your passions as an older adult is to begin an Encore Career. With an Encore Career, you use your talents and experiences in a position that combines personal meaning and social impact. You are paid to work in part- or full-time positions for short- or long- assignments at an organization that works towards the greater good to benefit the community.
Encores come from all walks of life to be placed in a position that matches their individual interests. John, 77, joined the Encore Staffing Network so that he could get involved with his community while earning additional income.
John has a wide-ranging professional background that spans across various industries. That said, he continues to look for different experiences and learn new skills.
“I’ve had a varied career that has made no sense, whatsoever,” said John. “But it’s been an adventure.”
Previous to joining Encore, John has written 11 books. Before that, he was the founder and president of an e-commerce website. He invented software for administering assessments on the internet.
Currently living in Cleveland, John has lived in Chicago, New York, and Paris. He is a graduate of the School of Journalism at Ohio University. After graduating from college, he was a newspaper writer and a magazine editor. Then, he started a successful advertising company that he owned for more than 20 years.
John’s Encore Experience
John works in short-term assignments as a participant in the Encore Staffing Network, a division of VANTAGE Aging. His most recent assignment was with an urban elementary school in Cleveland.
John enjoyed working with the students and was impressed by their creativity, wit, and ability to work independently. He recognized that many come from tough conditions and encouraged a safe and inclusive environment.
His experience in the program has had as much effect on him as he had on the students. Through his Encore assignment, he better understands the current climate of youth in that part of his community.
“Encore has been very good to me,” said John. “I regard you all [the Encore staff] as a real ally.”
New Adventures Ahead
Although the school assignment ended, John wants to continue working with Encore. Next, he will work as a greeter for University Circle in Cleveland. As a creative, he is excited to be working somewhere that he has visited over the years to see concerts and art.
“I would never want to stop. I try to look at everything not as a scary risk, but as an opportunity to learn something new and have an adventure.”
John is looking forward to the road ahead. While it’s uncertain where his Encore Career will take him, John’s spirit of adventure and passion for learning will continue to lead him to engaging experiences that positively influence those he meets along the way.
“We don’t just stop living when we get to be my age,” John said. Smiling, he shrugged and advised on a final note, “You keep going. There’s always more to know. There’s always something to take from every experience.”
Encore Staffing Network fosters opportunities to enrich individuals, nonprofits, and the community as a whole. Active older adults can find purpose in the work they do, and their purpose has the ability to strengthen neighborhoods. Whether you are an older adult or an employer, there is value in engaging in an Encore Network.
Interested in starting your second act as an Encore? Fill out this contact formand we will connect you to your next opportunity.