Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Encore workshops time for reflection, discovery

Many of us, after 20, 30 or more years in one career, find ourselves looking around mid-life for something different. Whether it's from boredom or economic need, a second career — an "encore" career — may be just the answer.

One local organization designed to help people, especially Baby Boomers, find a new passion to pursue is Encore Tampa Bay. And one of the organization's most popular and praised offerings is its half-day What's Next workshops.

For Christine Acosta of Tampa, the journey to a new career began when her 20-year role with American Express ended in 2006. She left the business-to-business corporate sales world to become a family caregiver, then to finish her college degree at the University of Tampa.

A career coach recommended the workshop. "I didn't want to go back to the career I previously had," Acosta, 51, says. "The workshop is all about discovering and rediscovering what motivates you. What's your sweet spot?"

Acosta says she is "a work in progress." Still not fully employed in her encore career, she is taking on special projects, such as being corporate sales director for the upcoming Working Women of Florida annual conference Sept. 11-12 at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

She said she learned in the workshop to "explore. Be engaged in groups and organizations that interest you."

In Nanci Cole Odom's 30-year corporate career, she was head of human resources for six different companies in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and, for the last nine years, St. Petersburg, until her position was eliminated about a year ago.

"I had a wonderful HR career; I felt like I made a difference," she said.

Odom, 60, wants to continue to make a difference, and the workshop, which includes manuals and journals, "has been really helpful in giving me structure and a framework to sort through what I want to do when I grow up. I am totally enjoying the journey," she said.

Odom said she believes her new direction will involve using her corporate skills to create more internships and business community opportunities for college graduates with unclear job futures and high student loan debts.

For Plant City financial adviser Mark Gray, 56, the insights of the workshop underscored something he had known for years. Despite an MBA in finance, he worked 25 years as an IT project manager, an arena that offered him opportunity and advancement. When his corporate career ended when he was laid off at age 52 and ordered to train his replacement, he looked toward an encore career working one-on-one with clients young and old.

Gray said he works more hours now than he ever did and enjoys working with clients, helping them plan for retirement or enter a new career. "I'm very passionate about spending time with people."

"I want everyone to have a Plan B," he suggests. "Never plan on having a secure job. That's almost an oxymoron."

Fred W. Wright Jr. is a freelance writer who lives in Seminole. Contact him at travelword@aol.com.

What's Next Workshops

Bevan Rogel, who started Encore Tampa Bay describes the workshops as a discovery process. Finding your encore purpose requires internal reflection and discovery, she said. Rogel conducts the workshops with life coaches or trained leadership facilitators. "It's very experiential with participants reflecting on their past, looking at their values, identifying their gifts and purposes."

Next up: Encore Town Hall Oct. 21 at Feather Sound Country Club. Find out more at encoretampabay.com

Encore workshops time for reflection, discovery 07/21/14 [Last modified: Monday, July 21, 2014 8:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Races are reversed in a police killing, and again a family asks: Why?

    Nation

    MINNEAPOLIS — There was something bad going on in the alleyway behind the house, she told her fiancé on the phone, someone who sounded as if she was in distress, maybe a rape. It was past 11 p.m., and most people on Washburn Avenue were furled in their beds.

    joint cutline 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch
  2. The battle for Venezuela, through a lens and gas mask

    World

    CARACAS, Venezuela — Motley throngs of masked anti-government protesters hurl rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails. Police and soldiers retaliate with tear gas, water cannon blasts, rubber bullets and buckshot.

    An uprising is brewing in Venezuela.

    Antigovernment protesters use a giant slingshot to launch glass jars ?   some filled with paint, others with feces ?   at police on the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, May 20, 2017. Nearly every day for more than three months, a ragtag group of protesters calling themselves El Resistencia have taken to the streets to vent fury at President Nicol??s Maduro’s government. (Meridith Kohut/The New York Times) XNYT104
  3. Romano: Sinkholes take Florida's quirks to a whole 'nother level

    Public Safety

    So all of this — the beaches, palm trees and fresh grouper sandwiches — comes with a few extenuating costs. To live in Florida is to accept a lifestyle of hazards, both peculiar and deadly. Lightning strikes and hurricanes, for example. Alligators and sharks, too. Floods, drug traffickers, spring break and …

    Two days after a sinkhole opened in front of her Spring Hill home in 2014, Linda Fisher packs up to leave for good.
  4. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot

    Travel

    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  5. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show

    Blogs

    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.