Last week, over lunch with a colleague, I heard about a school science project where an enterprising student (her son) sprinkled drops of dark roast coffee over some luxurious blossoms to asses the affect on the normally no slacker worker bees hovering over the garden. Result = ravenous worker bees become super buzzed.
Later that afternoon, I read these remarkable Stories of Baby Boomerangs in the San Francisco Chronicle. Baby Boomerangs is the handle, authors Sam Whiting, Meredith May, and Bek Phillips, give to “people in their 50s and 60s who walk out the door of one career in order to walk in the door of another.”
Their “Boomerangs” include a career attorney, who launches a doggie day care business; a US Air Force E-7 master sergeant, who retires his wings and takes to his feet to deliver mail; and a 60-year-old woman with a successful engineering career, who “was on the back of a BMW motorcycle in La Paz, Baja, when her second career idea hit her. She rode directly to the airport and caught a plane to get her to San Francisco in time to grab the last spot in a yearlong certificate program to become a life coach.”
Then to cap off the week, I read Over 50 and Under No Illusions by Caitlin Kelly in the New York Times. Kelly says, “It’s a baby boomer’s nightmare. One moment you’re 40-ish and moving up, the next you’re 50-plus and suddenly, shockingly, moving out — jobless in a tough economy.”
Kelly describes five Boomers who have gone through the emotional and financial strains of late-career unemployment and have successfully come out the other end of that dismal tunnel by tuning up their skills, plucking up their determination, and catching a bit of luck. “Changing jobs or careers turned out to be a good thing,” she says, “despite the many risks involved” for this indefatigable five.
These Boomerangs – with their extra Buzz and a good dose of their inner provocateur asking what’s next – can inspire us all to embrace the new year as an opportunity for change and reinvention.