Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management
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Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management

Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out

Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden

Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management provides an international overview of current practice and theory surrounding gendered employment in management, illustrating the impact of gender on key stages of career development.
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Chapter 26: Encore careers: motivating factors for career exit and rebirth

Wendy Marcinkus Murphy and Elizabeth Hamilton Volpe


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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