Sunday, April 7, 2013

Five Tips for Teachers Looking at ACTIVE Retirement - ENCORE-ED!

Gnomes' three phase business plan
Gnomes' three phase business plan (Wikipedia)
by Trish Rubin

Picture a 22 year-old teacher sitting at her first career desk at the front of an empty middle school classroom in suburban New Jersey.

It's the morning of her first official day of teaching. She's got her head in her hands. She's crying.

Next, watch her supervisor discover her and mistakenly assume the young girl is overcome with emotion at being a teacher. WRONG.

I know it was wrong because that kid was me. And I was at the verge of running from the school. How did I get into this situation was all I could think. I shouldn't be a teacher!

Well. I survived day one and 25 years later, I walked from my last school assignment as a school administrator, went straight to the airport and left for Paris! A dramatic beginning and ending to what proved to be a varied, creative and rewarding career in schools.

Eight years later, in my new life as a consultant, I'm reaping the benefits of those experiences in education. I've made a transition to a new career. I'm living what is now known to many baby boomers as an Encore Act.

I took an early retirement and gambled on myself. I thought of that scared kid who felt trapped in that classroom, decided I had boxed myself into a dead-end in my career, and made a leap to a world without walls, offices and constraints. I became my own boss, and I'm charged with being employee of the month every month.

It's freeing and scary on any given day to be in an Encore Act. But it's brought me a passion and fulfillment to my mature years that guarantees me the continuous learning that I want - and a brain buzz to sustain me as a vital and relevant women as I age.

So if you are an educator thinking of going for the next act, here's five basic tips to launching your own ENCORE-ED ACT from someone who's been out on the trail for almost 10 years, and whose next 10 years seem to assure me of another Encore leap.


If you have the pull to a new passion, recognize the siren call! You don't have to quit your day job. I have clients who are balancing who they are in their school careers with interesting sidelines like writing, art, photography, caregiving ... whatever turns them on.

I'd always wanted to be a marketer, I wanted to write, to build brands. I was always creating connections and events for people, writing copy for friends. It took me years to see that my training experience, presentational savvy and project management skills would be perfect for consulting.


Apprentice yourself to the work you want to do with someone who can show you the ropes and help you build a network. Join associations in real-time that are for people with your passion, get online and research and network on all the social media platforms, read blogs and follow newsfeeds.

If you have to self-mentor, the internet is the place to learn. Take online or realtime courses and webinars and see if this passion is right for you. Just because you like nursing doesn't mean you will find it a match. Better to know that before you have degreed yourself in a new act!


If you are going into business, find someone to help you with a business plan, even a short one sheet can help you vision your goal, what your business will be. Think of what makes it unique and salable if it's a service. If it's a product find someone who has manufactured products to help you.

Go to the free classes that the Small Business Institute gives. Ask friends and family for advice BUT, don't be defeated by negative responses to your ENCORE-ED idea from family friends or colleagues. Sometimes people fear risk and want to share their anxiety with you! Steer clear of naysayers.


List everyone you know and then meet with as many people as you can for the purpose of finding out WHO THEY KNOW who can help you. It builds your network immediately. Whenever you are out at any social event make sure you meet new people and tell them of your plan. Tell your story and again find out who they know who might want to hear about their new business or service.


Check out your direction. I have run focus groups and facilitated sessions for people with new ideas and business plans. Gather up people from your new network. NO FRIENDS ALLOWED!

You need generous open thinkers who will see you in this new light as an emerging BRAND. Present to them in a casual way at your home or over a dinner chat. Get feedback and see if they want to stay in touch. This may be your Board of Advisors for building your ENCORE-ED Act.

Finally, follow you heart and passion into the next part of your career life. I still may pause to shed a few tears along the way in my encore act as that young girl I was did years ago, but I'm keeping my eye on a long career as a professional, living life as I want and my ENCORE-ED ACT can be a lesson for yours!

Contact Trish Rubin for your 30 min free consultation on building your ENCORE-ED act ... from classroom to the world of choice! Your new direction awaits.

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