Spring Cleaning Your Workspace – and Your Habits
March 29, 2024
Show Notes: Episode 192 – Encore Careers: Finding a New Vocation in the Second Half of Life (with Christine Burrows and Marc Sheinbaum)
April 8, 2024

Click here for this episode’s show notes.

This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.

Christine 00:02
I did this little Kaizen or Ikigai exercise, which is the, what do you love to do, what are you good at, what does the world need, and what could you monetize, and it all came back to some way of incorporating pickleball.

Marc 00:16
I knew that I was going to be busy. Playing golf every day wasn’t, wasn’t in my vision for what I wanted to be doing. And I was excited about the prospect of writing being part of it.

Susan 00:30
Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we help HR leaders and business leaders embrace joy in the workplace. I’m Susan White, owner of Susan Tinder White Consulting, an HR consulting practice. Joining me is my dear friend and co-host JoDee Curtis, owner of Purple Ink, a large-scale HR consulting firm that I’m an executive collaborator with.

Susan 00:52
Today we’re going to talk about encore careers. In an article by Julie Kagan on investopedia.com on January 16, 2022, entitled “Encore Career: What Is It, How Does It Work,” she explains that encore careers are second vocations that begin in the latter half of one’s life. For the purpose of today’s podcast, we’re going to suggest age 50 or older is the beginning of the second half of one’s life, which we know is a total guesstimate, as none of us know our expiration dates. Kagan believes encore careers are usually launched for social or public purposes, or for fulfillment, or for financial reasons, or for a combination of these reasons. I can remember when I was nearing the end of a 35-year career in HR and banking, one of my nieces asked me what was I planning to do for my encore career, and honestly, JoDee, I had no clue. I just looked at her, said, “I really should do something, I still have juice in me, I should do something.” But when I started to think more about it, you know, I thought, I really think I can have an encore career, but I need to reinvent myself, because I know I don’t want to stay in corporate America, I don’t want to stay in banking, I do want to stay in HR. So I had to really think about what I could do. And so as we talk today, we’re going to talk to a few people about things that they decided to do in the second half of their life and do what we call an encore career. Kagan says that encore careers can be in any sector, but the five most popular sectors for encore careers are healthcare, the environment, the government, education, and not for profits. If I was making the list, JoDee, I might add starting businesses, because I personally see a lot of people starting all types of businesses later in life now.

JoDee 02:41
I agree. I see that a lot as well, too.

Susan 02:44
Financial motivations for finding new career options after age 50 are first. People are living much longer and need to think about creating a revenue stream that could last a few more decades. And secondly, recognition that Social Security alone will not meet retirement spending needs. There’s a book entitled “The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life,” that was written by Marci Alboher, that’s A-L-B-O-H-E-R, that is well regarded and that I would recommend for those of you looking for resources on this topic.

Susan 03:17
Beyond reading more about this topic, we decided to bring a few people in to talk about their own encore careers so we could learn about their experiences. Our first guest is Christine Burrows, co-founder of PickleBall Corporate (team)Building and a guest we’ve had before as she co-authored the book “JoyPowered® Networking” with JoDee that was published in 2023. Christine, welcome back.

Christine 03:40
Hello, hello. Good to see you guys.

JoDee 03:42
Thanks for joining us.

Susan 03:43
So Christine, what was your profession during the bulk of your working years?

Christine 03:48
You know, I think it’s kind of a story still being created. I started off as a high school history teacher. So I’ve come a long way since there, but I moved from the classroom very quickly out of that when I realized I wasn’t having quite the success as a teacher that I had as a student, let’s say, and leveraged those skills in what I’m going to call the edutainment space. And that was a big chunk of my career. And from that I learned to write a sentence and read and understand a wide variety of content and make it accessible to others. So then I put on a hat and called myself a content marketer and leveraged those skills. And then more recently leveraged those skills as well as my people connection skills to help develop Powered by Purple Ink with JoDee, which was a national network of people professionals all over the country – HR, coaches, leadership trainers, all kinds of stuff. So I’ve had a lot of different hats I’ve worn, but they’ve all kind of connected the threads of skill sets and connections.

JoDee 04:54
So tell us more about your new venture in pickleball, and if you don’t mind sharing to our listeners, how old were you when you decided to do this?

Christine 05:05
Our new business, PickleBall Corporate (team)Building, which also has a PB like PbPI, which makes it a little tricky sometimes to say, came about when I started thinking about all of the richness of the Powered by Purple Ink network that I had acquired in terms of knowledge base and people connections, and how could I continue those relationships and incorporate pickleball? So I did this little Kaizen or Ikigai exercise, which is the what do you love to do, what are you good at, what does the world need, and what could you monetize, and it all came back to some way of incorporating pickleball and, you know, human development, and the coaches and trainers I had met. So when I put that together and my own personality, if you will, I decided that team building using the pickleball court met all of those criteria. And I happened to have a husband with the initials P.B., and – Peter Burrows.

Susan 06:11
It’s a sign, it’s a sign!

Christine 06:13
I’m like, this is it. Put it all together, and I built out this curriculum for team building using the pickleball court. And so PB-CB is Peter Burrows, Christine Burrows, and also PickleBall Corporate (team)Building.

Susan 06:31
Got it. And the team is in parentheses.

Christine 06:34
It is. Only because there’s no T in our initials.

Susan 06:38
That’s great.

Christine 06:40
And by the way, to answer your question, and I’m happy to do so, I’m 58, and so that is the, that’s the start.

Susan 06:48
Yeah, that’s wonderful. Well, thank you for that. So what is joyful about this new work, and is there anything that’s just not as good as what you had done prior?

JoDee 06:48

Christine 06:57
Well, play for me is always joyful. I love to play, I love to compete and play and be a good sport and laugh and be physically active. So it’s all joyful there. Even though while I’m doing team building, I’m not playing, I’m witnessing people play and see themselves outside of the office and compete with and learn and just have joy. So that’s the, that’s the best part. The part that is the hardest difference, if you will, between what I’ve always done and what I’m doing now – and I had a glimpse of working with JoDee – is the entrepreneurship piece. And you know, when you when everything falls back on you, and you want to say well, I don’t have this skill, I gotta hire somebody to do that for me, or just being able to say, what can I can’t do, because I think I can do it all, but the truth is, I can’t. And Peter and I do have a really good complement of skills. He is an analytical thinker and accountant by trade, you know, systems, operations, he has all of that down, and I have that front of the house, you know, go meet people, idea thing. So we do have a good yin yang, but we have a lot of things neither one of us either have the capacity or the expertise to do. So I think figuring that piece of the pie out is just challenging for us right now.

JoDee 08:11
Yeah. And great self-awareness to realize from the beginning that as an entrepreneur, you can’t do everything, right? I think that’s a big reason of why some businesses fail is because the owner wants to do everything, whether they really want to do everything, or their goal is to save money, it works out that way. Right?

Christine 08:36

JoDee 08:36
Now, I know you’re just starting this venture, but do you see this as your final professional move?

Christine 08:44
No. Well, a couple things I see PB-CB evolving, and we do have a vision for it. You know, in this early stage, it’s really just getting the word out and having some experiences in the vicinity where we are, or someone could bring us where they need us to be. But I think it, I think the program that we’ve created has a lot of uniqueness to it, and so I see it potentially being licensed in other places. And that would be a what does that look like? How do we do that? And a whole new skill set for both of us. I also see, like, I think of myself not as necessarily always working, but I always have an idea. I always have a something else I want to do. It’s just this whole mindset about if you’re not rising, you’re falling, so I better keep rising. I’m still climbing the mountain. I don’t know what the next thing will be, but everything else has always been threaded together. Everything has kind of led one thing to the next. And I think that might be advice that I would have for anybody is don’t discount what you did when you were selling shoes as a 15-year-old somewhere. Some skill there is going to be tapped into when you get older or some professional certification you got, like, for me, I have a master’s in education. So I don’t teach, but I do coach and facilitate now, and that looks a lot like that. And so I think those skill sets just build on each other. So maybe grandparenting will play a part in my next venture.

Susan 10:15
I hope so. I’m thinking, Christine, at 15 I was making and selling pretzels. Who knows, maybe I, it’s time to revisit. I love pretzels. So, who knows?

Christine 10:24
Maybe you’re gonna own an Annie’s franchise or something.

Susan 10:27
Yeah, yeah, you never know. Don’t discount it. I love that. Any other advice you might have for our listeners, as they’re thinking about, I want to start planning, thinking about what I’m going to do in my last career?

Christine 10:38
I think find other people who have interests that you have also. So in the pickleball space, there are pickle-preneurs all over the country, because it’s such a craze right now. And they might be doing things very differently than me, they might be having millions of dollars to invest in a new facility, or they might be, you know, coming up, becoming a coach or a player, or apparel, they’re doing different things. But I think finding other people who have a general interest in what you’re doing and talking to them is really fruitful. And it forms potential partnerships, it helps you think about things you hadn’t thought of yet, even if it’s just an area of interest. And then I really think that that ikigai exercise is helpful for all of us at different junctures to think deeply about it. And we have the luxury at our state of life where we actually could do something without feeling like we have to make, you know, too much money. We’d like to make money, but it might just be that we want to do something meaningful and have some purpose.

Susan 11:38

Susan 11:38
I love that.

JoDee 11:39
I do too. Well, we wish you very well in your success. I know you are a woman of ideas and a woman of action, too, so I see great success for you ahead.

Christine 11:53
Thank you, JoDee. I’m also a woman of partnerships that everybody that I have that is helping me do this or people that I’ve formed relationships with professionally in the past and that I respect deeply.

JoDee 12:06

Susan 12:07
I love that. Could you share with our listeners how if they’re interested, perhaps, in PB-CB, how they could reach you?

Christine 12:18
Of course. Well, our website is www dot PB hyphen CB dot com. And you can reach me directly at Christine at PB hyphen CB dot com. And I’m on LinkedIn. We’re on Facebook. But LinkedIn is really a good place to find me and to understand a little bit of what we’re doing.

JoDee 12:43

Susan 12:43
Excellent. Well, thank you for that.

JoDee 12:45
Thank you.

Christine 12:45
Thank you, ladies.

Susan 12:47
Our final guest is Marc Sheinbaum. Marc has been the CEO of GE Money Services, CEO of Chase Auto and Education Businesses, and CEO of HireOne before retiring and becoming a board member, becoming a board member and CEO advisor. By all counts, Marc has had an amazing career in business, but what excites me the most is the totally different type of encore career that he’s pursuing – that of a fiction writer that he launched a few years ago. Marc and I worked together for about six years when he ran Chase Auto and Education Finance businesses, Marc, I am grateful I was able to work closely with you at JPMC and that we’ve stayed friends since. Thank you for being here today. Was becoming an author something you contemplated all those years you were working in corporate America?

Marc 13:35
First of all, thanks for having me. Great, great, great to chat with you today. I can’t tell you that it was in the back of my mind throughout my entire career. It was certainly in my mind when I started my career. I thought a lot about writing when I was in, when I was growing up in high school and college. And you know, I wrote… I was the Editor in Chief of the school newspaper and did a lot of writing. But I’d say I didn’t really have the confidence and courage to make it a career choice, plus, you know, quite frankly, I was, I was already a… came from, from, you know, simple means in Brooklyn, New York and, and I didn’t want to continue my life in simple means as a starving artist. So I said, well, this will be something I get back to someday. And I did try, you know, one of my first job at Coopers & Lybrand at the time, which is now PricewaterhouseCoopers, I did try writing at night, but it was… this is impossible, this – when you when you make a career in business, and early on there’s, you know, there’s too much going on, too many hours, too much stress. So I said well, someday I’ll get back to it. That was, that was, I think was the was the extent of it. So it really wasn’t. It’s interesting, I always enjoyed writing. Susan, you might remember I actually spent a lot of time on those presentations. I actually enjoyed putting a storyline together, which is kind of similar. You know, you tried to make your case about something and, and connect the dots. But it wasn’t something that I thought about, you know, okay, I just, I’m close to retirement, boy, I’m going to be a writer. That wasn’t, that wasn’t how it went.

JoDee 15:11
And Marc, what age were you, if you are comfortable sharing, when you started down the path of being a writer?

Marc 15:19
Yeah. So, so I retired, I guess, when I was 59. And I was looking, you know, kind of planting seeds into things that I wanted to do. I knew that I was going to be busy. Playing golf every day wasn’t, wasn’t in my vision for what I wanted to be doing. And, and I was excited about the prospect of, of, of writing being part of it. So I took a, I found a writer’s workshop close to where I live in, in Westport, Connecticut, and I signed up for the first, you know, the intro, you know, very early introductory course. I was actually looking at colleges saying, okay, I’ll maybe do some, you know, adult education program, and then I found, found the Westport piece. And I remember going to the first, the first workshop, and first of all, was late because I had the wrong time. So that was, that was a bad start, but I always remember that. I thought it was 10:30, what do you…. So I walked in everybody was, it was only about eight people there, so that was embarrassing. And then, you know, it was, it was a workshop with prompts, right? So they say, you know, I think some of the early prompts I remember were, okay, you know, we’ll give you 20 minutes to write whatever you want. The prompt is, “I was just about to hit the send key when…” blank. Okay, go, 20 minutes, write whatever you want. And so, you know, you sit there with your – and half the class was sitting there with pen and paper, and I hadn’t used pen paper in 30 years, so I had my computer there, and I started, like, banging things out. And, and you know, you create these little vignettes in 20 minutes, and then you get to read it to the class and get critiques and all that. So I just remember how buzzed I was doing that. It was just, like, an incredible feeling. When I created those, those little vignettes, and I was, I was pretty, I was actually very insecure, because I said, I’m not a writer, and … very good at this. But I just, I just remember the, the, the energy and the charge I got out of doing it. And that was kind of the first time I said, well, this is actually fun. But it wasn’t like, okay, now I’ve gotta go write a novel. It wasn’t probably until I started stringing these little vignettes together. And I remember when, to the, in the second class, you know, six months later, I remember reading it and the, the instructor said, “Oh, this is pretty good. Are you writing a novel with this?” And I said, “Oh, yeah, okay. Yeah. I guess I’ll write a novel.” Right? Oh, I had, like, two pages. But…

JoDee 17:57

Marc 17:57
That was almost like she challenged me to write a novel with this. So I didn’t really know what, what that process was. But I did, I kept, literally, it was the stringing together these different vignettes into a storyline, and actually had two different sort of pieces I was working on. One was about this AI engineering stuff, and one was about this family saga. And even, I remember one of the classes, somebody said to me, “this feels like two different writers, it feels like two different stories you’re doing,” and I, and so then I had started to say, well, where would this kind of overlap, and that’s kind of how the, it evolves. So it really was more, you know, I guess you’d call it organically created, the whole theory of becoming a novelist, the whole story itself, that whole first thing was I going with it as opposed to “I’m retired, now I’m gonna be a writer.” It didn’t, it kind of just happened that way. And, and, you know, that’s just, that’s just the rest is kind of history, I guess.

Susan 18:55
You know, I think about most of your life, I’m sure you’ve identified as a businessperson. I mean, that’s who you were for all those years. Now, making that shift to you’re a writer, was that difficult for you or for your loved ones, your family or when people say “So Marc, what are you doing?” do you say, “I’m writing?”

Marc 19:13
Yeah, it’s a great question. And, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s seven years into it now. So, I do have to – and I’m sure Susan, you as you talk to me, I imagine you probably see a different person, even as you listen to me now, than who I was or maybe who I was pretending to be. I don’t, I sometimes I think I’m pretending to be a writer, but I think maybe I was pretending to be a business guy. I’m not sure. But um, yeah, I mean, I, it was, it was clearly a, you know, maybe you should be doing a podcast with my family to ask that question. But I think if I had an answer for them, it clearly was… I remember when I told my wife that I was going to take this workshop, at the very beginning, she goes, “Oh, Marc, you’re always looking for something different. There you go again.” I think she really thought I was gonna go back and get another seat somewhere. And, and, you know, had I had something pop that I was really interested in, maybe it would have happened, but I was, you know, I’d really, I don’t know, I, I had, I had kind of reached the stage of my business career that I was, I guess you’d say burnt out and just, I couldn’t really see myself driving, diving back in and, you know, 59, it’s not ancient, but I felt like I was, you know, look, I’ve worked for 40 some odd years here, and it’s time to do something that I really, you know, have passion around, really love, and if I found a, you know, a CEO job again, I would have, I would have, I would have done that, but not just to go, you know, you know, back into the, into the grind. But clearly, you know, when I, I think people found it, you know, curious when I’d say, you know, I’m writing a book, you know, writing a book, everybody’s writing a book, it’s like somebody told me, a friend of mine lives in, he’s a lawyer in Los Angeles, and he said, you know, one of his favorite, favorite parlor games in Los Angeles is staying outside a bar and as people come out, say, “How’s your screenplay? How’s your screenplay going?” Like, everybody’s writing a screenplay in Los Angeles. So, you know, everybody’s, everybody thinks they could write a book. And you know what, I didn’t think I could write one either, but in a way it was… So yeah, I think people did think that this was just a temporary thing, I was just going to be doing something different. And a lot of people think they could write a book. And like, I could tell you that my, you know, the, one of the people that was I guess my instructor in that Westport Writers Workshop, the one I’ve worked for with the most. You know, he said, like, I can’t tell you, he said, you know, from being in these workshops, how many people don’t finish these manuscripts. So, you know, you’ve kind of given me a little pat on the back for how far I’ve come with it. But I think, you know, I think writing for a lot of people is, is an outlet. And it was for me, a lot of it at the beginning, it was, it was, it was energizing, it was, it was visceral in many ways. But it wasn’t like I was trying to change careers as much as it was I wanted it to be part of my life. But I was doing other things, too. You know, I was trying to do a lot of different things at that stage to see what really would stick. It was a journey, as opposed to looking back and saying that I made the cut over to, you know, to saying okay, I’m no longer a business guy, now I’m a writer.

Susan 22:41
Fair enough, fair enough. Well, I have read your book, the “Memories Live Here” and loved it, by the way. And I understand you’ve got a couple more novels on the way. I wonder if you wanted to kind of share with our audience what you’re working on and, and why you’re doing it.

Marc 22:55
Yeah, I think, you know, the first, the first novel – and thank you for reading it, Susan, I appreciate your kind words. As I said, it was a bit of a visceral experience, because in a way it was, I was writing a story about family, about three brothers, and I had one brother, and, but a lot of the, lot of the storylines came from for me. They came from, you know, things that I didn’t directly experience, but did experience in different ways. So it was a little bit therapeutic writing that, too, and revealing to me as well as to people who, you know, like you. You know, a lot people said, well, you know, did this really happen, or are these characters real, and all that. But yeah, I left some hanging pieces in those stories. And I remember, you know, when I finished it, a friend of mine said, “Well, you’re not done right?” I said, “Why?” He says, “Well, you didn’t, never said what happened to Anna. And I said, oh, well, that’s a good question, what happened to Anna? And that kind of got me off into this whole tangent of telling her story in the second book, which really became much more, I say, more commercial-oriented, but it probably is, it’s much more, there was no real, you know, personal aspect of it for me, it was more just telling a story about this one character and had a lot of fun, a lot of fun with it and, but really stretched myself as a writer because it was things that I had to do a lot of research on. I didn’t know anything about Russians and international spies and hacking, hacking rings and, and, you know, sugar babies and sugar daddies in, in, in business, and so it really became this kind of fun thing to do to tell, tell the story. And then so I finished that and was about to self-publish it again. I queried agents and publishers and all that but, you know, having been through that with the first book, I know that’s, that’s a tough thing to, to land. And I was about to publish that and I was gonna start a third book about something completely different. I wanted to just kind of get into a different realm than, than where it was. And, and one of the letters I’d sent out to a publisher reached out to me and said, you know, we’re really interested in, in your books and, but we specialize in series and trilogies, do you have a third book in the works? And I said, kind of, like, back to the, to the, you know, the first workshop, I said, oh, yeah, yeah, a trilogy, I, absolutely I’ve got a third one in the works. And they said, well, you know, while we sign a contract, you know, when could it be done? We, what’s important is we have kind of commitment days before we get our engine going. And I said, well, look, let’s, let’s come back in the fall, let’s see how far I can, I am with the book at that time. And so I kind of, you know, the first book took me, you know, I wrote on and off for about three, four years, before I finished it, the second book I wrote on and off – mostly on – for, let’s say, two and a half years, this one I’m trying to finish in nine months. So I’m getting close. Anyway, so I reached out back to them in December, when I felt I was making progress about that one, and so we signed a contract, and so I’ve got commitments, and so the notion is, assuming they like the third one, they’ll do a kind of a sequential publication of the first one. And then they’ll follow up quickly with second and the third one, and we’re targeting someplace in the, in the fall, winter of, of, you know, coming up this year. So and this one is also just a continuation of yet another character from the third book, so it’s just really kind of just continued the, you could, you, if you have enough characters in your, in your storyline, you can string along the… so it’s not the traditional trilogy, it’s not like, you know, think about “Hunger Games” or something like that, where it’s, it’s one, you know, it’s about, I’ve forgotten the name, but you know, it’s… or Harry Potter, where it’s about him. This really is more about the scene and the, and the time and the technology and all the things that are going on are kind of the backbone of the world that you’ve created. And then the different characters that I’ve created along the way that we, that we’ll continue some of their storylines, and kind of tie it back together. So the third one is, is, it’s a little closer to home because it happens more, it’s not international spies and stuff, they were all in the background. This is more, you know, the storyline of trouble in paradise in Silicon Valley and some other corporate settings and, and some, some high stakes there going on for people so, so I’m getting that one finished. You know, hard to say much more about what it is until I finish it.

JoDee 27:29
That sounds so exciting. What have been along the way maybe some of your moments in writing that you found to be very joyful, but also maybe some that were low points for you?

Marc 27:46
Yeah, I’ll guess I’ll go over the low points, because the easy, the joyful ones are easy. Rejection’s never, never a fun thing. And, and so you, there’s this whole pitching process of agents and publishers and you, because you, you kind of feel it as a writer, okay, well, you got to find a publisher, you got to get an agent. And, and the world of self-publishing is very accessible now, and a lot of work, but you can do it, and a lot of good reasons why you should self-publish, but I don’t know, my ego basically said, let’s go find, you know, an agent or a publisher. So that’s a very, you know, that’s work. And I retired from work, I shouldn’t be working. But I found that to be work. And then when you do self-publish, that’s work, and when you, now, you, you know, you can’t just throw it up on, you know, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble site and say, okay, now come. I mean, you guys know that from your webcast, or from your podcast. You’ve got to do some marketing behind it, some promotion, and that’s work. And I, you know, and figuring that whole thing out, and it’s a very, you know, it’s an evolving science, you know, to, to market, those kinds of things. I don’t, I’m not, you know, out there with, you know, social media, and I don’t have an Instagram, you know, following me and my dog around the house, and it’s just not what I want to do. So, you know, I’ve, I’ve, my marketing, I did a lot of, I tried some Facebook ads here, but you know, I talk to a lot of authors about what works or what doesn’t work. But that’s not a lot of fun. And then again, querying agents, querying, querying publishers is, and getting, you know, those rejection letters is, is, is not a lot of fun. And so I’d say that that’s certainly, you know, probably low point, but certainly not, not why I’m in this, I’m not in this to do all that stuff. And I’d say also low points are, you know, I’d say every book has had its moments of saying, where I say, this is not any good or making any sense and this, this is, you know, I can’t do this. So there’s a lot of, there’s been a lot of that – more in the first book than the second book, more in the second book than the one I’m doing now. Maybe my ego, confidence, or I don’t know what it is, but, but that I can, that, you know, you can kind of say, forget this, this is, this is, this is just dumb and I’m there right now with the third book. I’m saying like, okay, is this premise really going to work? And, but then the, you know, the joyful stuff is, you know, it’s, you know, the first book was just amazing when I got – I still remember when I got my first review. Like, I know, remember I got an email in the morning from this reviewer and, and I read it to my wife, I said, wow, this person really understood more about what I was getting out of the story than I think I did. You know, she really pieced it together, articulated it in a way, because I have a real tough time kind of writing, like, blurbs about what’s going on. Don’t, don’t ask me what the book’s about, because I have such a tough time kind of encapsulating in the marketing type of thing. But she just wrote this really great, you know, explanation in three short paragraphs that kind of resonated with me. I said, wow. And then I’d have that kind of reaction from other people. And I always found that was unbelievable. I found that, I learned that, that sometimes these books are like a Rorschach, Rorschach test, you know, you, people can, the blob, people see different things in it. Some people see this, the brother, you know, turmoil, some people see the technology part and they kind of picked away what, what that was. So that was kind of, that was, that was, you know, that was really, it felt great to get those kinds of reactions from people and, and, you know, I mean, you know, friends say that, like, it’s like, oh, yeah, you know, the bull, people blow smoke, you know, and you know, but I like it when, I love the reviews from people who don’t know me. Because there’s no, no, no axe to grind. And I even like the reviews that weren’t good. People, people read it. And so, you know, my favorite review was, was somebody read the first book and said, you know, “What? Only one book?” I mean, I was like, wow, okay, so that resonated, they wanted to, wanted to hear more, but clearly, the joy of writing is by far the, the best part of it. I mean, I, it’s, it’s actually incredible. I could sit here as I’ve done, I’m doing now for days on end, just writing and, and when I wrote the first book, I think it was, you know, I could basically do two hours a day, and then I was out of gas. And now I, you know, pretty much can be at it all day. As long as it’s winter and freezing outside. When the weather gets nice, it’s, it’s a little harder.

Susan 32:27
So Marc, do you have any tips or advice for listeners who are dreaming about getting back to something that they wanted to do when they were young, or something that they just want to do very different than what they’ve devoted their life to?

Marc 32:38
Yeah, I mean, obviously, the most obvious one is just get in there and start doing it. You know, it doesn’t really matter what it is. But I always tell people, you know, try lots of different things, you know, when you’re, if you’re in your, if you’re at the retired stage, or, and you’re fortunate enough to be able to do things without having to worry about that it’s got to make money right away, right? I mean, if it’s something you use just for enjoyment, you know, just, just try it, you know, it does – it’s like exercise, right? It’s like, okay, I want to get back in shape. Alright, well, oh, I don’t want to go to the gym. Well just go, go take a walk for, you know, 20 minutes, just get, get yourself, get you, get something started, go to, you know, go, you know, take a stretching class, just do whatever it is just to get going. You know, it doesn’t matter what it is, you know, buy a guitar, go, go, you don’t have to go to the lesson, go, there’s so much stuff online, there’s… so you know, I planted, despite the fact that this is what took off of me, I planted a lot of seeds. When I first started working, I didn’t know what I was going to spend most of my time doing. And I triaged some things early on. Some things I triaged, it took a few years to, like, triage them out. And people would ask me to get involved in some stuff, and I think, you know, I got to find what you, what you’re passionate about, right? I mean, that’s, it’s not just filling time. In filling time, I think there’s a problem. I think just saying, okay, I’m gonna do this, well, I’m not gonna do, so I’ll do this. I think it’s gotta, you know, to really resonate, really stick. It’s got to be something you care about, whether it’s a charity, you know, even charities, so it’s great to get involved with a non for profit, but I’ve turned down some stuff because, you know, it’s just not my… I just don’t have that kind of strong feeling about that kind of organization and what they’re doing and what their mission is. Whereas I’ve spent, as you know, Susan, a lot of time, you know, with, with helping underprivileged kids around their college process, their, their getting ready for college, being, being ready for college, their financial situation, and maybe that comes from just all those years of, you know, being involved with student loan programs and stuff like that, but you got to care about what you, what you’re doing even when you’re not doing it because it’s your main, your main career anymore. So I think I, my best advice is, is don’t go all in to any one thing at the beginning. Just try, try different things, just, and don’t be afraid to add more, add more on and take more off, don’t be afraid to say, okay, this is, this doesn’t work for me, I’m going to do something different. You know, hopefully you’re going to have a long life in retirement years, maybe as long as, these days maybe as long as, you know, the, your actual working career, you know, my mom’s 96 years old, and she’s as sharp as the three of us put together. And so, you know, she keeps herself going just with social interactions, that, that’s her passion is just, you know, hearing people’s stories and interacting with them. That’s not, that’s not a job. It’s not a career. It’s just, you know, people just love talking to her, you know. So that’s great. It doesn’t have to be something big, it could be something as simple as that.

JoDee 35:51
Right. Marc, I’m a big reader, so I’m very excited to check out your books, especially I love, like, spy thrillers and mysteries, and even corporate, you know…

Marc 36:05
Oh, boy, got a, got a, I got a trilogy for you.

JoDee 36:08
Yeah. So, but where can I and our listeners find your books?

Marc 36:15
So right now it’s on, the first book, “Memories Live Here,” is on Amazon. And the second book, third book are, as I said, not published yet, they’re going to – the target is to be released in the fall/winter timeframe. So you can find the first book on Amazon, and you can sign up on my website for more information as things are coming available. So it’s, it’s marcsheinbaumbooks.com. And so you know, there’s a way to sign up for, I don’t have a newsletter, but there’s an email list. So I’ll keep people informed of what’s going on. And hopefully, over time, I’ll create, you know, some type of a newsletter and stuff that a lot of authors do. And I know people like following that kind of stuff. But it’s, it’s just as I said, it’s not, it’s not my bag.

Susan 37:05
Well, we’ll put in our show notes a link to your website, as well as the link to the book on Amazon.

Marc 37:12
Thank you. Appreciate that.

Susan 37:13
Great. Well, thank you so much for being here today. We really appreciate your input.

Marc 37:17
Thank you for having me. I was, it was a pleasure. And it’s great seeing you both and thanks for having me.

Susan 37:23
Thank you. Listeners, you may be thinking, I want an encore career, but I have no idea how to go about getting one. Merrill Lynch and AgeWave offered recommendations of where to get started if you’re thinking about having an encore career while those around you are starting to think about retiring. JoDee, let’s share some of their suggestions.

JoDee 37:43
Yeah, so the first one is to get started before you retire or leave that job you have been in for a long time by taking steps such as expanding your business network, taking classes, volunteering, or working part time in a field related to work you may want to do. Talk with other working retirees to better understand paths they took towards a fulfilling retirement career.

Susan 38:11
Yeah, I think that makes really good sense. The second suggestion is keep developing your technology skills. Seven times as many working retirees cite the importance of keeping up with technology versus trying to appear younger as a means of improving their ability to work in retirement. We all have to say tech fresh, don’t we?

JoDee 38:31
Right. Right. And it’s hard if you’re not regularly using it, right? But you might have to…

Susan 38:39
Takes real effort.

JoDee 38:40
…find reasons to practice the technology. So number three, talk with your spouse or partner about retirement work plans to better understand each other’s expectations and concerns. Discuss how you’ll balance work with other retirement priorities. If your significant other expects you to see the world in an RV in your retirement and you plan to go to med school, you may be inviting unhappiness into your relationship.

Susan 39:12
That’s a fact. Number four, talk with your current employer before you retire to explore opportunities for continued work on a more flexible basis, or to engage in work you find more motivating. Your employer may have options that enable you to work more on your own terms such as a phased retirement, part time or seasonal work, sabbaticals, or maybe mentorship positions.

JoDee 39:36
And number five, determine whether you want to work for yourself or start a business in retirement. If this is of interest, talk to others who have taken this path, like Susan White right here, she did this, too. Consider speaking with a financial professional to determine the necessary steps to prepare and identify how best to manage risk.

Susan 40:03
Number six, estimate your potential income from continued work in retirement as part of your overall retirement plan. Unlike income from some other sources, income from working can help keep pace with inflation. However, consider that health challenges – yours or loved ones’ – could force you to stop working earlier than you might anticipate.

JoDee 40:23
And number seven, learn how working in retirement can affect social security, Medicare, and other benefits. Some benefits may be reduced or delayed due to employment income if you start collecting before your full retirement age.

Susan 40:41
Yeah, I think all really good points. So I, as I mentioned, I did at 55, retired from the bank, my job was eliminated, and I had to figure out what more I wanted to do. I’ll tell you, becoming an HR consultant kept the one thing I really did love doing, and it really was a chance for me to just do HR projects, initiatives, work with clients, teach things about HR that I really, truly found joyful. So I look back now and I’m just so glad I did it. How about you, JoDee? I know you’re younger than me. Are you contemplating any type of an encore career?

JoDee 41:14
A hundred percent. Not, not that I would likely do something dramatically different, but I can totally vision myself continuing to author books, to podcast with you, to…

Susan 41:30

JoDee 41:30
…to speak and to do some training that is non-competitive, you know, with…

Susan 41:38

JoDee 41:39
…with Purple Ink, but I will definitely be working in some form or another for a long time. I’m too easily bored.

Susan 41:48
Yeah. And you know, I do love work. And I didn’t know that all those years I was doing my first, you know, corporate type of job. I really, truly enjoy working and working with people. So yeah, good. I bet a lot of our listeners can relate.

JoDee 42:00
Yes. And now on to our listener question. Susan, our question today came from a listener from one of our previous podcasts on running employee investigations, and the question is, “What should I do if a non-unionized employee shows up to an investigative meeting I have asked them to come to and they bring along their spouse or a co-worker, parent, or even an attorney who they want to bring into the interview with them?”

Susan 42:33
Yeah, I’ve had this happen several times. And for me, it was always the person who’d been accused. During that investigation, the accused person wanted to bring in reinforcements, bring in their parent, their spouse, their attorney. But, you know, honestly, a complainant could bring in somebody or even a witness. I would say the same thing to whoever they brought, if it’s a non-unionized employee, I would say no. I’d remind them that it’s their responsibility as an employee to participate in and not impede a company investigation, and so I’d say, I’m going to talk to you individually. If they refuse, if they say, well, I’m not going to talk to you without whoever that is, I’d say, I need you to understand that I’m going to complete my investigation without your input, and that may not be favorable to you. You’re not going to be to provide me with information or insights that you have, but I am going to do it without meeting with you if you insist on bringing someone in. Now a complainant is more likely to understand that and they’ll sit down and talk to you. A witness is more likely, too. An accused, depending on if they did it or didn’t do it, they may be less likely and they may decide not to meet with me. That’s their choice, in my opinion. Now, if it’s a union employee, we all know they have Weingarten rights, they can bring a union representative with them. That union representative, though, make sure you refresh yourself on the rules around that. They cannot impede that investigation. They cannot answer questions for the person that you’re interviewing. They really need to be there as support, not as disruptors.

Susan 42:38
Alright, JoDee, it’s time for in the news. There was a blog on PeopleBox on October 23, 2023 entitled, “250+ Office Jokes that are Trending in 2024.” We’re gonna put the link to this in our notes, so you get a chance to see who the author was, who put this together, as well as the entire list of 200 – over 250 jokes. I didn’t think some of them were very funny, but I did get a kick out of a few of them, JoDee, so I’m going to share a few. They’re all clean jokes, which are my favorite kind of humor. JoDee, let’s let’s do this together. I’ll share the first one. “Why was the math book feeling down at work? It had too many problems to solve.”

JoDee 44:45
Number two, “Why did the office chair apply for a promotion? It wanted to be the chairman of the board.”

Susan 44:56
I bet people are groaning right now. Number three. “Why did the coffee file a police report? It got mugged.”

JoDee 45:05
Number four. “What did the clock do when it was hungry? It went back four seconds.”

Susan 45:12
Okay, I had to think about that one a little bit. But yeah, it went back for – four – seconds. Four seconds. I get it. Thank you. Number five. “What do you call a manager who can play the piano? A key player.”

JoDee 45:25
I like it. I like it. “How does a manager exercise at the office? By running meetings.”

Susan 45:35
All right. We hope you all feel free today to go back in the workplace and use any or all of these jokes that you can stomach.

Susan 45:41
All right, with that, thank you for listening. If you would like SHRM recertification credit for listening to this podcast, please visit getjoypowered.com/shrm. You’ll find an evaluation of the podcast and once you complete the evaluation, you will see the SHRM recertification credit code and a link to a proof of participation certificate. Again, that’s getjoypowered.com/shrm. Thank you for listening, and thanks for your dedication to the HR profession.

JoDee 46:12
If you liked the show, please tell a few friends about us and let us know what you thought by leaving us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. You can find more information on our podcast, our books, our blogs, and more at getjoypowered.com. We’re @JoyPowered on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook and you can send us an email at joypowered@gmail.com. Make it a JoyPowered® day.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily works behind the scenes at JoyPowered, helping to edit and publish the books, producing the podcast, and running the website and social media.

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