Plenty of Government Jobs Available, Says Encore Careerist

Bart Kendrick recommends pursuing job openings in government.

Bart Kendrick began his “encore” encore career after a remarkably short job search that resulted in six strong leads. When he accepted his new job, he said, “I had to cancel five interviews. Anyone who says there are no jobs out there is full of hot air.”

Kendrick, 64, was a winner of the “My Encore Moment” story contest that hosted last year for his compelling tale about how he grew bored of retirement and found a job doing outreach for the Peace Corps. In July, he started a new job as a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working to promote broadband in rural communities.

He found that opening, plus plenty of others on the federal government’s official job site, Kendrick recommends that job seekers also search their state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Center Web sites.

The resident of Annandale, Va., said he’s learning a lot in his new job, which is funded with federal stimulus dollars through September 2010. The ARRA Broadband Initiative is inviting proposals from rural communities to bring broadband capabilities to their locales so that they can stimulate participation in the Internet super highway, bolster the local economy and bring needed high-speed Internet capacity required for many educational, medical, and recreational online programs. Cities targeted with initial outreach were: Washington, D.C.; Boston; Charleston, W.Va.; Birmingham and Memphis, Ala.; Lonoke, Ark.; Billings, Mt.; Minneapolis; Albuquerque; and Los Angeles.

In his previous role as a program manager of the 50+ Initiative for the Peace Corps, Kendrick participated in recruiting experienced workers to serve as Volunteers in the organization. The number of Peace Corps applicants over age 50 has grown significantly during the past two years.

Just before he departed, Kendrick helped implement an agreement under which informational events by AmeriCorps and Peace Corps are held collaboratively. The value is bringing both domestic and international volunteer opportunities to interested citizens regarding the programs and benefits of service with these organizations.

Kendrick’s advice to others seeking encore careers in government: “Search and look for ways to showcase your knowledge, skills and abilities. Experience makes a difference - flaunt it.”