Arlene Carter's 'My Encore Moment" Story of Career Transformation

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Arlene Carter’s ‘My Encore Moment” Story
Seattle, Washington

After being laid from her real estate job, Arlene Carter rebounded and found truly satisfying work as a fundraiser for a senior community.

When I was laid off from my job as HR Director/Office Manager for a real estate management/construction company, I was fortunate to be given a severance package that allowed me time to slow down and really think about what I wanted to do.

I took long walks thinking about my last few jobs, ranging from being self-employed to working for a PR team that had a great idea for a business and just as quickly blew up when the bubble burst, to being in a very competitive work environment at a real estate management/construction business.

As I was in my mid-50s, I knew that one of my goals was to find a job that would take me through to retirement. I was also ready to do something more meaningful and to put a priority on a less stressful work environment. I hadn’t really considered looking for a job in fundraising, even though I had done a lot of volunteer work raising money for various organizations.

A friend who knew of my previous volunteer work with nonprofits asked me to come to interview for a job opening in the foundation of a large senior community very close to my home. I went somewhat reluctantly because I wasn’t finished with enjoying my summer off, but during the interview process, I fell in love with the facility and the fabulous work they were doing for and with older adults. I also saw the benefits of working right in my neighborhood (less than a one-mile commute) and felt that this work environment (supportive, spiritual, empowering) was something that I was looking for.

For the past five years, I’ve been working at Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation in Seattle, Wash. What I felt about this work environment in the interview process continues to be a huge inspiration to me. The staff are here to provide a home in every sense of the word to the 400 older adults who live here. The mission, core values, morals and ethics all align with mine in a way that makes it deeply satisfying to do this work. And being allowed to work in the home of these residents is an honor and a privilege.

The friend who asked me to come in for an interview is now my boss and we enjoy a great working relationship, a wonderful friendship and enormous gratitude for our jobs and the work we do.