Prescription for Change: From Pharmacist To Flight Attendant


Venetia Clark loved her job as a Walgreens’ pharmacist for 30 years.

But as she approached 55 years of age, she had the opportunity to take advantage of an early retirement program with some significant financial benefits. And she also spent quality time with her 91-year-old father who was in the final year of his life. It caused her to conclude it was time for a change. A love of travel and the encouragement of two flight attendant friends led her to a new job opportunity.

She has been flying for the past five years and loving the new job with United Airlines.

Ready For A Career Pivot? Expert Interview With Marc Miller


Marc Miller has changed career paths a total of seven times. But after suffering a near fatal bike accident, he switched gears – no pun intended – and focused his talents on counseling friends and associates on their career journeys. And he realized that he had found his true calling.

From there, he wrote a powerful book called “Repurpose Your Career” that is now in its third edition…He launched the “Repurpose Your Career” podcast which now has nearly 150 episodes. And he started the “Career Pivot” online community.

We caught up with Marc at the Princeton Public Library where he was speaking on the topic of ageism.

 

A Passage To India: Her Second Act Started With A Trip


Shila Desai’s life has an intriguing and international timeline. She is of Indian descent – with her grandparents coming from the country’s Gujarat province. But she was born in Kenya and grew up there. She got her professional degree in the United Kingdom. And at the age of 24, Shila relocated to Canada where she spent most of her adult life.

She arrived in Canada and didn’t know a soul. She met her future husband in the first few weeks in Toronto, they married and started a family. And they bought a bankrupt garment manufacturing company and turned it into a home run success.

On the outside it looked like a wonderful life. But Shila struggled with depression and thirsted for something that she could call her own. At the request of her writer’s group, she put together a tour that brought nineteen of her friends to India. The experience was such a success she turned it into a travel company called Eat Your Heart Out Tours (or EYHO Tours for short).

As you’ll hear in the podcast, EYHO Tours has developed a particular expertise in textile tours essentially bringing visitors and textile artisans in India, Morocco, Madagascar and Uzbekistan together. You can learn more about Shila’s company at www.eyhotours.com.

 

A Dream Deferred: How A Banquet Waitress Became A Doctor At 45


Ruth Lavigne grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was a doctor (a radiologist) and she used to fill-in the date on patient sheets when her dad reviewed their films at home. As Ruth followed her father around his hospital, she always thought “that will be me someday.”

She ended up studying French in college and then business in graduate school. After marrying, starting a family and relocating to California, she found herself working as a banquet waitress in a San Diego hotel. She enjoyed the work and the flexible schedule which gave her time with two kids.

Ruth’s dream of becoming a doctor re-emerged one night as she held her oldest daughter Ariel in her arms and told her “you can be anything you want when you grow up.” And Ruth thought, “one day this kid is gonna look back up at me say, so you wanted to be a waitress all your life?”

With financial help from her parents and childcare support from her in-laws, she went back to school at 31 to take the necessary pre-med coursework. At 36, she returned home and entered medical school at the University of Cincinnati. At 40 she began a four-year residency to become a radiation oncologist. And at 45-years-of age, she finally became Dr. Ruth Lavigne.

Ruth’s story of persistence and overcoming obstacles is as inspirational as they come.

 

At 70, Jim Found A New Passion: Helping Others Get Fit


Jim Owen is 78 years old and he is in awesome shape. He works out regularly and part of his routine is doing three sets of 50 push-ups. That’s pretty amazing for a man of his age.

But for most of his life he was a self-described, “certified couch potato.” On his 70th birthday, his life changed when he watched a video of himself going on stage to give a speech. “My shoulders were hunched over. My knees were shot, so I was sort of shuffling along. And I had chronic back problems. It was humiliating.”

Jim lost 50 pounds, hired an experienced trainer and got serious about working out. And the impact on his life has been incredible.

He wanted to share his new passion with others so he wrote and published a book called “Just Move: A New Approach to Fitness After 50.” For anyone who has ever said late in life, “Gee, I wish I could get in shape,” this book is for you.

DOWNLOAD EPISODE OUTLINE

 

Encore! Encore! Leaving Wall Street For The Non-Profit Sector



Russell Abbott spent most of his career on Wall Street working in the management of hedge funds. About two years ago, he transitioned to working for a non-profit based in Brooklyn, New York called Extreme Kids and Crew. The organization is a community center where children with disabilities and their families can socialize, create and play. He’s a whole lot happier in the new job.

Russell was first introduced to Extreme Kids and Crew via the Encore Fellowship Program. Run by a group called Encore.org, it’s essentially a matchmaking service that connects senior corporate executives with non-profit organizations looking for experienced talent. The program is now in it’s tenth year and has placed over 2,000 executives in positions in 50+ cities across the United States.

Episode Outline (Abbott) – website

 

Goodbye Accounting…Hello Acting: Meet Ancestry’s “Lederhosen Guy”



 

Most of America already knows Kyle Merker. The Ancestry.com commercial where he “trades in his lederhosen for a kilt” has aired 22,000 times on broadcast television.

Kyle filmed the Ancestry commercial at the age of 53. And the experience sparked an old passion that encouraged him to pursue acting after 25+ years in the world of accounting and finance.

In just three short years, he’s been remarkably successful being featured in range of other commercials, television programs, films and theater projects. But he took acting seriously enrolling in a two-year program at the Michael Warner Studio in New York City. And he prepares meticulously for each and every audition.

DOWNLOAD EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Special thanks to friend and neighbor Sue Check for connecting me with Kyle Merker.

 

A Reluctant-Preneur: Laid Off at 51, Jane Launches Grownup Travels


Jane Canapini was a 20-year-veteran of the advertising world in Toronto, Canada. She worked as a creative director for both large and small advertising agencies. But in 2012, her last agency downsized and she was laid off at the age of 51.

Rather than landing another job in advertising, she decided it was time to make a major career change. She pursued her life-long passion by launching a travel blog called Grownup Travels.    

DOWNLOAD EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

 

 

THEN: Homeless, Addicted & Convicted…NOW: Time’s “100 Most Influential People”


For the past 15 years, Time magazine has selected it’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” The 2019 issue includes Lady Gaga, Donald Trump, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Mark Zuckerberg and Dwayne Johnson.

It also includes Desmond Meade, a name you’ve probably never heard before. In 2005, Desmond Meade had three strikes against him. He was homeless. He was a drug addict. And he was a convicted felon. Reaching the lowest point in his life, he was prepared to commit suicide by jumping in front of a moving train. But according to Meade, the train “never came that day.” And he opted to check himself into a rehabilitation facility instead.

He set a new path for himself earning an associates, bachelors and law degree. And then Desmond set his sights on the passage of Florida’s Amendment 4. Officially known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, Amendment 4 was a ballot initiative to restore the voting rights of an estimated 1.5 million Floridians with felony convictions. Political pundits gave the initiative very little chance of ever getting on the ballot let alone passing with the required 60% approval by the electorate.

It took Desmond and his team at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition nearly a decade. But on November 6, 2018, Amendment 4 passed with 65% of the vote.

According to Meade, “I tell people that on November 6th, on election night, the country got to see love winning the day. We had over 5.1 million votes, a million more than any candidate received. And those votes weren’t based on hate and fear, they were based on love, forgiveness, and redemption. Love actually won the day. Love destroyed that Jim Crow law.”

Click here to read the Time magazine article about Desmond Meade, penned by Stacey Abrams, former Democratic Minority Leader for the Georgia House of Representatives.

Never Too Old To Rock N’ Roll: Meet Tom “The Suit” Forst


Tom Forst was 57 years old. He was a regional vice president with Cox Media, a huge communications company. He was jetting around the country on private planes. He had an army of people reporting to him. He was making a hefty salary.

That was 10 years ago. He decided to quit his corporate gig to pursue a life-long passion – music. He put out his first blues-rock album as Tom “The Suit” Forst. He did a month long tour of China as the headlining act. And now he’s back in the studio now working on his next album. You can check out his music at www.TomTheSuitForst.com.

He also launched the “Chasing The Blues” podcast which is well worth a listen. As the Jethro Tull song concludes, “You’re never too old to rock n’ roll.”