Launch Pad Finalist
Today people live almost 20 years longer than their grandparents and either need or want to work far beyond traditional retirement age. However, there is a barrier separating people and their transferable skills from encore careers – a barrier created by lack of direct experience in new fields. Shift Midternships are designed to help individuals overcome this barrier by offering opportunities for well-supervised and documented work experiences – internships – that leverage existing skills and interests for new vocational pathways.
Direct experience is key to success, and the Minneapolis-based Midternship pilot program (funded by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and delivered with the Minneapolis WorkForce Centers) offers people real, documented experience in their chosen new fields.
About David Buck
When I was 46, I was laid off. Instead of jumping head first into a carbon copy career, I took time to contemplate next steps. I found a new career idea that used my transferable skills, but employers wanted direct experience. Nearly 80 interviews later, I landed a half-time job in my new field. I experienced firsthand the difficulty in navigating a new career at midlife. Every conversation I had during my transition helped me see something important in myself and my search.
Because of this experience, I co-founded Shift, a community for people at midlife looking for meaning in their lives and work. I gained leadership skills and knowledge about the full force of the issues we face. Also, I translated my sales experience into a new part-time career raising money, a helpful skill going forward. Given how difficult this process was, I committed myself to helping others cross the bridge to new careers.