Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden
Chapter 26: Encore careers: motivating factors for career exit and rebirth
Career success has been the focus of decades of research, yet few researchers have explored career transitions, particularly at mid-life. Often referred to in the popular press as ‘encore careers’ these are career transitions individuals make from a primary to a secondary career – a second act that increasingly, although not exclusively, occurs for individuals in the mid-to late stages of their careers (Alboher, 2012; Freedman, 2012). This chapter investigates why people who have achieved objective success in their career voluntarily choose to leave, and even more interestingly, why they leave not to retire but to become fully engaged in a different occupation. After exiting their primary careers, individuals experience the birth of a second career often motivated by the desire to contribute to society or one’s community, pursue work that is deemed personally interesting or meaningful, or achieve balance between their professional and personal lives (Freedman, 2006; Goggin, 2009).
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