Boomers See Future in Encore Careers

Encore careers are the wave of the future for aging Boomers who want to work well past the accepted 65-year retirement age. Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, created the Encore career phenomenon. He has gained recognition by Fast Company magazine three years running as one of America's leading social entrepreneurs.

Baby Boomers have been a generation on the move, fleeing their suburban haven to experiment in a fashion unfamiliar to their parents. The Baby Boom generation changed the way people envisioned life, and according to Freedman, and other social thinkers, will also change the concept of retirement.

This substantial cohort, born from 1946 to 1964, settled down, became productive, and amassed the wealth and possessions they once had renounced. Freedman maintains that Baby Boomers will return to lives as socially conscious workers.

Phyllis Segal, vice-president at Civic Ventures told the Vancouver Sun: "Our research confirms that there’s an interest in doing work that has social significance, offers a degree of flexibility for work-life balance, that leverages and values experience, and that offers the level of income needed for financial sustainability.”

Segal added: “I see it as a pull and not a push: wanting to try new things, wanting to contribute to solving community problems, wanting to combine work with other things in life.”

Maurice Fernandes, a strategic recruitment initiatives consultant from Ontario, predicts workplaces will support such a change by providing flexible work schedules and telecommuting opportunities.

“The challenge to Human Resources is to be more creative in how they look into bringing senior workers into the organization,” Fernandes, who works for the business services firm Ceridian, told the Vancouver Sun. “You’ll see some of the same challenges as hiring a junior worker: that is, how quickly can this person adapt to a new corporate culture?”

Encore careers are possible through online education in Active Lifestyle and Independent Living Residences.