Change to Find or Create Your Next Act


“Be open to trying something new.”

“Finding Your Next Act” was the title of a recent article in a Merrill Lynch publication which included advice from today’s working retirees for those considering n encore career.

According to their research:

44% said “Do thorough research to find work you like.”

  • 73% said “Be willing to earn less to do something you truly enjoy.”
  • 76% said “Be open to trying something new.”
  • 21% said “Start your own business / work for yourself.”

Merrill Lynch’s June 2014 report “Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations” lists the top three ways to improve ability to work are: keep up with technology, take classes, and exercise/work out. For some of us that means we’ll need to change a few things. Or as we say around here: SHIFT!

Change is often difficult. We’re creatures of habit and some of these ruts are deep, hard to move out of! However, there is a powerful theory about how to create change we want: intentional change as opposed to change that may be forced on us. Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis suggest it is a process of discovery.

  • Discovery #1: My Ideal Self – Who do I want to be?
  • Discovery #2: My Real Self – Who am I? This includes my strengths – where my ideal and real self are similar, and my gaps – where my ideal and real self are different.
  • Discovery #3: My Learning Agenda – Building on my strengths while reducing my gaps.
  • Discovery #4: New behavior, thoughts, and feelings through experimentation; creating and building new neural pathways through practicing to mastery.
  • Discovery #5: “Resonant Relationships” that help, support and encourage each step in the process.

Theory can help, but it takes practice to create constructive change, and SHIFT is here to challenge and support you! The SHIFT community connects individuals making midlife transitions who seek greater meaning in life and work. Some members of our community want encore careers that combine income with personal meaning and social impact. Others want to volunteer their experience and skills as a way of giving back to the larger community.

SHIFT serves as a compass to help midlifers navigate these transitions. SHIFT also engages employers and volunteer organizations to underscore the essential value midlifers bring to the workplace.

We invite you to join us. Share your journey, talents and ideas. Practice intentional change! Become deeply engaged in discovery with others who also are finding and creating their next acts. How? Go to the website ( and register right now for these great SHIFT discovery opportunities this month!

  • Winding Down and Gearing Up
  • LeaderSHIFT
  • Life Reimagined: Real Possibilities

SHIFT Happens – Take care!client4

David Alley

SHIFT Executive Director