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New beginnings

Encore Transitions: Preparing for Post-Career Life

By Deborah Stull Kinsley, OHR communication project manager

September 7, 2010

The next decade will bring significant changes to workplaces across the country. As baby boomers begin to reach traditional retirement age, many are looking at “retirement” as a beginning—an opportunity to explore a variety of new directions. For example, it may be the perfect time to renew a sense of purpose through long-held or recent personal interests, new or deepening ways of pursuing professional interests, and connecting with others.

A new program at the University of Minnesota is on the cutting edge in addressing the unique needs of this population. Encore Transitions: Preparing for Post-Career Life is a contemporary program designed to help U faculty and staff create pathways through transitions and prepare for a successful post-career life by focusing on personal, professional, and social satisfaction, as well as financial preparation. Research shows, and this program emphasizes, that post-career engagement in personally meaningful activities is a foundation for vitality, happiness, and healthy longevity.

Participants in the program can expect to come away with greater clarity about what their next stage of life may look like; options, opportunities, and strategies for getting there; increased ability to take positive risks; and renewed purpose, greater meaning, and deeper satisfaction with life and work now and into the future.

The program is open to faculty, P&A staff, civil service staff, and bargaining unit staff on all campuses who have at least a 75 percent time, benefits-eligible appointment, and who meet one of the following requirements:

•    50–54 years old with 15 or more years of service at the University
•    55 years old with five or more years of service at the University
•    30 years of service at the University, regardless of age

Program schedule
The Encore Transitions sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on four Fridays: Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 19, and Dec. 3; and from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Dec. 17.

Attendees will need to arrange with their supervisors to be away from their workplace on the days of the sessions, in accordance with the work rules, policies, or bargaining unit contracts for applicable employee groups.

Cost and scholarships
The cost of the program is $700; however, the Office of Human Resources is providing 42 Encore Transitions Scholarships to fund $350 of eligible employees’ participation costs. In addition, departments and units have been invited to support their employees’ participation.

“Because of the potentially valuable benefits of participating in the Encore Transitions program, we encourage units to support their employees’ participation to the fullest extent possible, both with respect to providing financial funding and by being flexible with regard to time away from work,” says Office of Human Resources vice president Carol Carrier.

To request a scholarship, complete the Encore Transitions Scholarship Request form. The form may be mailed, faxed, or delivered in person to the College of Continuing Education at the address listed on the form.

Complete descriptions of the curriculum and biographies of the expert presenters are posted on the Encore Transitions site. For more information, email Encore Transitions or call 612-625-1237.