The Collision of Work and My Encore Career in the Work-Life Merge

During a head shot shoot for my news persona, I struck what appeared to be a playful pose. Actually, it was a serious moment for me, because my work life was colliding with itself, in that pose. Actually, my 2 decade news career was colliding with my encore career. More on that in a bit.

Although I love news and am still a business reporter, my other love is yoga and meditation. To be specific, my alter work ego or encore career (one of purpose & passion)  manifests as a stress-reduction expert.

I teach business professionals to take it down a notch. (Check out my CD, Practical Chaos:Reflections on Resilience)

Working in news for more years than I care to admit has always been a passion and shaped who I am. From the Avianca plane crash, to covering the GM scandal in Brooklyn Federal Court back in the 90′s – to the Buttafuccos and the ultimate tragedy: the 9/11 Terror Attacks.

As a youngster I figured that being a news reporter would be my lifelong work. I wanted to help expose society’s ills, be a voice for the unspoken stories, and make a different with my journalism.

I was certainly able to do that, but during the events of 9/11 I discovered an additional vocation: helping business professionals reduce stress and cultivate resilience in our sensory overloaded 24/7 world. It happened organically on it’s own, as I needed to find a way to build endurance and consume chaos while covering 9/11 (you can read my story here).

I’ve kept my vocations somewhat separate. But now in my work-life merge, these two worlds of being in news and as stress reduction expert are intermingling more and more, as they did the day of the photo shoot.

“Take a breath,” I can be heard saying in the newsroom. And yes, I have done yoga in the office behind closed doors. Who hasn’t closed their door for a little peace and quiet in the middle of a busy day?

Some would say that teaching stress reduction is my “encore career,” combining purpose, passion and a paycheck  (read about Encore Careers here and on Civic Ventures website). But I’m still a reporter covering work-life concerns, the jobs market and business. Being on the young end of the baby boomer generation, I’m still working hard in news while building my business. It’s never too early to start exploring that next phase of vocation although it does require some work-life flexibility.

The way I figure it, I’ve been in a place of vocational collision for about a decade.  I’m essentially what Marci Alboher calls a “slasher.” When I read her book years ago, One Person/Multiple Careers, I had found a home. Being a part of that tribe really feels good to me. It has for some time.

So start striking a pose and do something creative and innovative while you’ve still got a job. Whether you continue as a slasher, or you head full speed into your encore career, why wait?

And while your at it, if you know someone over 60 who is literally doing their part, in the second half of their lives to change the world -  nominate them for Civic Ventures Purpose Prize. These are men and women who are using their experience and passion to make a difference. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET, March 30, 2012. Click here for details.

Is your work – your true vocation? What’s your next career move that might bring you more joy? Please share your thoughts.





  • Ali Davies

    I like that challenge – about striking a pose. Game on!!!

  • Judy Martin

    These days – it’s game on 24/7. 2012 is an interesting animal.