My Encore Story: Part 1. At age 47, the company where I was a vice president, decided to eliminate the division of the company I was a part of. I had spent 15 years as a project management consultant, trainer and author but it was time for a change.
I then obtained a graduate degree in Corporate Coaching and certifications as a behavioral and axiological analyst. I started a consulting practice providing assessments and coaching to organizations to assist with talent selection and leadership development.
My Encore Story: Part 2. At age 54, I became ill. My unexpected illness – a mystery to my doctors – left me unable to work for over 4 years. Finally diagnosed with late-stage, disseminated Lyme disease, it was another 6 months before I was able to return to work.
During my illness, I had to learn to let go of my previous life and expectations. Medical bills and living expenses required the sale of my home, two investment properties, and much of the savings acquired in my professional years. Moving from Colorado to a mountain community in California brought a much simpler life. I live in a beautiful 55-and-older community where neighbors watch out for one another.
Now I do most of my work from my home office via phone and computer.
I do some pro-bono work for those who are in need of coaching but who do not currently have the ability to pay for it. Some of these are folks who are looking for jobs or a career change. I just had one awesome experience with a gentleman who was looking to get into a new field. He used his assessment results during the job interview to share his list of strengths and weaknesses and demonstrate how his strengths fit for this organization and position. They were blown away by his data and his approach, and the fact that he had a coach, and he got the job. This is a huge step up for him professionally. It was a great feeling for me to be able to help him.
After a year – with help from two long-time business associates – my “encore” business is thriving. I can’t fully express how grateful I am for this new life. Sometimes strange circumstances can still bring us to a wonderful place.