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The Transition Network is a community of women over 50, who join forces as they navigate the transition from one career to another - or whatever is next. As a national movement of engaged and energetic women of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, TTN members:
- Discover new perspectives and new opportunities
- Impact their lives and their communities
- Advocate with a collective powerful voice
The Transition Network has grown from 12 women meeting in a Manhattan living room in 2000 to a community of 5000 women nationwide, who gather in 8 chapters (NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco) as well as in telephone groups. Our members are women over 50, highly educated, who worked most of their adult lives. Many are still working, but beginning to thank about a transition to something different: more flexible work, starting a business, using their professional skills as volunteers or going back to school. A number of our members were the women who broke the glass ceiling in their professions, and they're now setting about to redefine "retirement."
Our major activities are educational programs on many subjects of interest to older women (jobs, health, money, relationships, current events); volunteer projects within and outside TTN; and peer groups, which bring together 8 to 12 women to talk about important subjects such as work transitions, families, launching a business. Our collected wisdom on transitions is captured in our first book, Smart Women Don't Retire - They Break Free, which was published in 2008.
We also present transition workshops that help people prepare for life after their current careers, and have partnered with many organizations in our chapter cities to offer those workshops. TTN members become part of a community that often replaces a work or kids-oriented community. It provides stimulation, support for taking risks and the opportunity to explore options with women who have gone through the same transitions.
The Transition Network has also launched two other programs with a longer time-horizon. One is the Caring Collaborative, which provides peer support for members in times of health crises, as well as a framework for sharing information on medical conditions. That pilot program has been funded by the New York State Health Foundation, which recognizes the need to connect the formal health system with informal networks like TTN. The other is the Second Act Initiative, whose goal is to create a job bank of project work from for-profit and non-profit employers. Transition Network members would be ideal candidates for those project-based jobs, given their decades of experience and low overhead compared to traditional consulting firms.
- Betsy Werley
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