Here at Better, Smarter, Richer, we talk a lot about developing your “next act.” This is such an exciting time to be working with people on their careers; the whole field is undergoing once paradigm shift after another, and it’s thrilling to watch the changes unfold. Gone are the days of graduating, working for one company for 40 years, and then retiring. Instead, someone’s career path might change multiple times throughout their life; reinvention is becoming the norm—especially as we live longer, healthier lives and redefine the traditional notion of retirement.
Annette Lansing is one of Jackie’s star students, and an especially inspiring example of what it means to embrace all the changes.
After studying English and Dramatic Arts throughout high school and college, Annette worked in the hospitality industry for five years and then got her M.A. in Teaching, which she describes as a great experience…although she found out that she didn’t want to teach children. So at 33 years of age, told she was too young for the “good jobs,” she became a Project/Product Manager for a business forms distributor and manufacturer for the automotive industry, a job she’d dreamt about since she was a little girl…not. (“I must have a dry delivery,” she writes, “because sometimes when I say that, people believe me!”)
She worked that job for 15 years and then lost it when the company was bought and moved to Ohio. She was 48, and was now being told that she was too old to get the good jobs. “Something’s wrong when the supposed ‘prime marketable work years’ are less than 15 years total and I missed them!” she writes.
Annette was solid on transferable skills, but describes herself as “weak on knowledge of any specific field/industry.” Worse, she was low on confidence.
So many people enter a downward spiral at this point. They’ve lost what’s familiar to them—the job that’s defined them for years—and they think they’re too old to start afresh.
Well think again.
Annette went back to school to deepen her knowledge of a particular field, landing on the Gerontology Program at PCC…where she found a whole new direction.. Gerontology is the study of aging in a very broad sense, and shouldn’t be confused with geriatrics, which is limited to “fixing failing bodies.” “I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Annette writes, “but it’s a growing field, ripe for shaping the future, and bushwhacking new ways. It appealed to my creativity.” The program also rekindled her interest in teaching…but teaching adults.
Since graduating from PCC, she has focused on “the process of building my own dream job–helping others find theirs.” This has involved working as a job developer at a vocational counseling office, a peer mentor for the Gerontology program, an adjunct faculty member at PCC, and an entrepreneur…among other other things! Next on the list? Annette is primed to become a Better, Smarter, Richer Facilitator!
We can all learn something from the wonderful energy that Annette has brought to her changing, growing career. You’ll be able to stream or download her conversation with Jackie on Wednesday afternoon, and can listen any time after that as well. Remember, the BSR Broadcasts (Jackie’s weekly show on Solo Pro Radio) are now available for listening right on the Better, Smarter, Richer website!