Career Reinvention and creative employment…at any age

by Edward Henkler on July 21, 2015

Career reinvention…only if you want to thrive…

“Career reinvention…at any age”, the week after I turn 59, will be my next-to-last weekly post on HHPS because I don’t want to be accused of “do as I say, not as I do”. I’ll explain “next-to-last” at the end but want to initially focus on my next steps and an explanation of my career reinvention. Creative employment is a journey; anyone that suggests it’s an on/off switch was either exceptionally lucky or is not to be trusted.

I didn’t start out with career reinvention on my mind. I just planned to quickly join another biopharma (or if absolutely necessary, a company in the biopharma supply chain). I had worked hard and had a solid resume…what could be simpler? Instead I made a lifetime of mistakes, discovered networking (a few decades late), battled self-confidence, and found an extraordinary number of organizations which valued me as long as they didn’t have to pay me. A valued friend once said, “I’d wish transition on a friend once…and an enemy twice.” If that doesn’t make sense to you, then your career has been blessed and…we should talk immediately.

More than six years after early retirement from Merck, I believe I can finally claim that my career reinvention may be tangible and creative employment will have been the catalyst. I made a lot of well-intentioned mistakes (and also had some close calls) for the first three years. The second three years have increasingly focused on prevention of blindness and enabling tech for the blind. All of that has led to my current state, where I am involved at various levels with four different young companies developing enabling technology for people with compromised vision. I have launched a second website and will be publishing an eBook on coping with vision loss from the perspective of a caregiver in the next few weeks.

Career reinvention

We are moving forward…with career reinvention and our lives!

Am I there yet? I don’t know; are we ever there? Do you really ever want to reach the end or might you prefer the journey? I do know that the success my wife has enjoyed with her blog means that we are finally embarking on the next steps in our collective journey. There is absolutely no urgency but we have decided to sell our house and move to a dream location on a lake or river waterfront. We know we’ll move further south but part of the excitement is not knowing where yet. Stay tuned…but on TheBlindGuide.

So…why is this my next-to-last weekly post? I attended a wonderful event a few weeks ago launching #BunkerPHL. Want the rest of the story? Stay tuned next week…

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