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To Be Your Best

In my job as a career consultant, I talk to people every day who are returning to school as an older adult to re-tool for today's jobs. The world of work has changed and technology has eliminated or transformed a lot of professions. And sometimes people decide they want to completely change course and pursue an "encore" career later in life.

For me, I went back to school to get my doctorate because laws were changing and I needed to know more to do my job well. I had just been given a promotion at Bell Laboratories. At the time I was working at the company's corporate headquarters for federal contracts with the government. It was 1976 and I was the first female head of a department in the history of the company. So much was changing with technology then that I wanted to take more courses so that I could do my job better. It was a time of so much change. None of those men had ever had a woman boss before. So it helped me learn how to manage people better.

Then many years later, I found myself in my 60s at the local community college because I wanted to learn Photoshop. I wanted to keep up with changes in technology so I could preserve beautiful memories of my family. That was just a "bucket-list" type thing for me.

So whether it's personal or professional, I think continued education helps you be your best - to have a greater purpose.

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