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The best example of an Encore Career is the solid pro who retires from their regular routine, then makes a comeback in a field they’ve always wanted to work in.

Giving back is a strong motivator for them.

The same motivation applies to professionals who change direction in their current jobs. They ask themselves, “How can I serve a greater good,” then go out and do it.

Baby boomers know this one all too well: the company they work for changes direction and sheds employees like a snake sheds skin.

They may want to give back, but they also fight to stay relevant in a changing marketplace that sees them as part of the aging workforce.

Can older boomers learn new ways to navigate the future? Yes they can. Here are two examples:

Rob O’Gorman, a boomer dad like yours truly, found himself on the outside looking in after he left his job at HP.

Retirement wasn’t an option with kids and college and an active family life.

Would he saddle up for another ride on the same horse he just stepped off of, but in a different arena, or start new with the momentum he’d built up during his years on the HP job?

Instead of marketing the tools used for hooking up to the internet, he decided to work in an industry that prevents the internet from hooking up to you.

Today he’s a Small Business Specialist for Legal Shield providing business owners a measure of relief from the predator element online and off.

Call it fraud, ID theft, or a dark hole in the dark web, Rob helps keep the lid on tight.

During our meeting he explained how Legal Shield works, along with the identity theft add-on.

Call it old school, or old fashioned, but sitting across from someone in real time instead of email or Skype is a revealing experience. My take on Mr. O’Gorman?

This is a man you want on your side, someone who’ll take the time to listen, to hear your concerns, before suggesting solutions. He matched the dream combination of under promise and over deliver.

Like many boomers, his business experience goes beyond the norm, beyond the notion of today’s plug and play ethic. He’s a problem solver who’s actually solved problems.

My second example of boomers with encore careers is closer to home.

Elaine Gillaspie, ND, began her naturopathic practice with a focus on women’s health and natural childbirth.

After relocating from NW Portland to the Hillsdale neighborhood, and a name change to the Portland Wellness Center, Elaine retrained and refocused on aesthetic medicine.

Today she is a Portland mole removal expert on the Ellman Surgitron.

Like Rob O’Gorman, Elaine’s experience is a difference maker in her encore. Patients who schedule an appointment for her aesthetic medicine practice will find a doctor with decades of clinical observation.

Boomers on their second act bring a bonus to their new game. You may come in for one thing, but why not get a heads up on potential problems while you’re there?

While most specialists stick to their script, encore boomers go above and beyond as they write new scripts for a new phase of life.

Rob and Elaine ride the crest of the next big wave as 79 million people start adjusting to new roles.

Tell boomerpdx how you’ve changed focus in the 2014 economy.


About David Gillaspie


  1. Boomerpdx Thank you so much for the kind words and your support of all boomers! You are becoming a Portland legend with keen and smart posts on medicine, history, sports, travel. Thanks again!

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Boomerpdx celebrates those who work to get it right when it all goes wrong. Counting on trust is the first test no matter the field. As you make progress, think of a guest post on the journey.

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