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Women’s Inspiring Encore Careers at Midlife

Forget your 2014 retirement age. Let’s talk about your 2014 encore career age–and it’s now.


Never heard of an encore career this New Year? That’s about to change. In fact, as Marci Alboher–a former lawyer and reporter who is fittingly now the vice president of–writes in The Encore Career Handbook, “Research shows that 9 million people are already in encore careers, and another 31 million are keen to move in that direction.” They are “crafting their encores and helping to create a movement for personal renewal and social good,” she writes.

I’m one of those 9 million. After all, my “change” was what launched my new beginning and improved encore career as a perimenopause and menopause awareness expert.

See, when I entered early menopause, I acted like the Wicked Witch of the West, slept like an insomniac, couldn’t find my way through a case of never-clearing brain fog, and sadly waved goodbye as my estrogen and vagina packed up and moved to the desert–and I’m not talking about Las Vegas!

After struggling in silence for three long years, I figured it was time for a new beginning. I took out my journal and started writing about my menopause experiences. While, at first, the journaling was a way to escape from all the loneliness and menopause symptom confusion, it soon became a gift that I intended to give to my daughter. It would be a guide to perimenopause and menopause–something she could turn to when she was older and found herself experiencing signs of menopause as I did then.

The more I learned of the various menopause symptoms, and how many women were suffering through them in silence, however, the more I wanted to share my newfound menopause knowledge with the sisterhood of all women. So the journal became my book, and then led to the creation of, the home of Menopause Mondays.

I now have a purpose in my 2014 life that is bigger than I am:

Supporting women through perimenopause and menopause so that they can lead the happy, healthy, and fulfilled New Year lives they deserve. Best of all, I found that purpose during my life’s second act: menopause. My mission is ageless and so am I. I am living a great life of passion and purpose after menopause. After all, 60 is the new 40!

As far as our 2014 lives during early menopause and menopause are concerned, we make the rules and set our own goals! Take, for instance, the six postmenopausal women featured in the new Britain TV documentary Fabulous Fashionistas. These women share a love of style and a “screw that” attitude I love–at least, when it comes to maintaining the status quo.

Perhaps my favorite fashionista in the documentary is 76-year-old Jean Woods. Following the death of her husband of 56 years, she applied for a job at Gap to make ends meet–and she found her passion in fashion. She later got a job at a fashion boutique in London and is now considered one of the most fashion-forward women across the pond. “Perhaps when you get older you know what suits you,” she says. “Also, I like to dress as I want to dress. When I put something on, I don’t think ‘will anybody think I look good?’, I just think in my own mind whether I look good. I don’t really think about other people.” Like I said, style, passion, and drive know no age.

So, again, I ask: What’s your 2014 passion? Now’s the time to set goals share it with the world. After all, our years have given us the greatest gift from which any new beginning career can benefit: experience. We know our priorities, our goals, and what mark we want to make on future generations of women. So let’s make that New Year mark!

Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

encore career, menopause, midlife, midlife women, women's careers

Ellen Dolgen

Ellen Dolgen, menopause education is a mission. Spurred by her own experience struggling with the symptoms of menopause, Dolgen has devoted the last ten years of her life to helping other women during this often difficult time. While she’s not a doctor or scientist, she’s “talked the talk” with countless menopause experts, so that she can “walk the menopause walk” and share the keys to this menopause kingdom. Together with her son, Jack, she created a FREE eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause, a comprehensive guide to all things menopause—the symptoms, the treatments, and the long-range effects on a woman’s health. Dolgen shares the expertise of numerous specialists to replace confusion and embarrassment with medically sound solutions, presented in an entertaining and informative way.

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Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Friday 10th of January 2014

I love your energy and motivation, Ellen. You truly are an inspiration to those of us struggling through the choppy waters of menopause!

Ellen Dolgen

Friday 10th of January 2014

Thank you Marcia! My passion to be a “sister” to all women on the #Menopause wellness journey will never stop! I would be nothing without my followers like you who empower me everyday to help women STOP SUFFERING IN SILENCE!

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