Redirection documentary examines later life career shifts

A new CERIC-funded documentary examines career shift, transition and occupational change in later life. Called Redirection: Movers, Shakers and Shifters, the film shares the stories of five people who have shifted into second or third careers at age 50 or older. It is part of a national Redirection research project on Work and Later Life Career Development led by Dr Suzanne Cook of York University.

Redirection is expected to increase in our society as more people transition into new occupations in later life. The term redirection refers to a new stage of career that is emerging. Redirection is an alternative to retirement as working life is extended. This shift is occurring due to social, demographic, economic and policy changes in Canada.

In the 33-minute documentary, participants describe the issues and challenges faced during their transition into new work. The motivations for career shift vary among the individuals in the film. Some people can be forced into job change during later life; some people may want to work for personal fulfillment, whereas others may need to generate an income.

The film is designed to stimulate dialogue and discussion about the themes and issues surrounding work, aging and later life career development. A Companion Guide to the film will be published shortly. Both the film and the guide are intended to be used by career development professionals in their work with older clients. It can be viewed for free and found at www.ceric.ca/redirection.

Dr Cook, the film’s executive producer, is a social gerontologist, adult educator and Adjunct Professor at York University in the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Aging Research and Education. She is also Faculty Fellow at the Trent Centre for Aging & Society at Trent University and Founder of the organization Carpe Vitam.