The purpose of the study was to explore the meaning of the Encore Career experiences of the research participants, who are baby-boomer, from a transitional learning perspective. There are four puzzles to guide the purpose of the study: First, what kind of life did Baby Boomer retirees live before the Encore Career? Second, what inspired Baby Boomer retirees to experience the encore career? Third, what kind of the Encore Career activities did the Baby boomer retirees experience? Finally, from a transitional learning perspective, what is the meaning of the Encore Career experiences that the Baby Boomer retirees experience?
For these research puzzles, thesis research used narrative inquiry research method. For the research data, researcher conducted in-depth narrative interviews with the participants and additionally collected related data such as the biographic books they had published, etc. The period of gathering the data was from December 2016 to August 2017, and researcher wrote research text according to the in-depth narrative interviews that had been conducted twice during July and August. For the analysis and interpretation of the data, researcher used the narrative inquiry research method introduced by Clandinin and Connelly(2004). From the perspective of four basic strategies and combination strategies of the theoretical frameworks for transitional learning, proposed by Stroobants, Jans, and Wildemeersch(2001), researcher categorized and interpreted the stories of the participants’ Encore Career experiences, and schematized the results. The conclusions areas follows.
Firstly, the research participants had lived a relatively successful and happy life in the first chapter of their lives. However, they have encountered their second chapter without proper preparation for their retirement.
Secondly, the reason why they went through Encore Career activities was because each of them needed to adapt to the new life after coming down from the stages of the first chapter. They mutually reflected on their lives that had been lived for others, faced with the time of depression, and began to perceive solely about themselves. They started to find the lives that they want to live in the future, (re)constructed their first chapter of life and reflected upon the meaning of death, and began to understand their current situation in regards of social context. In addition, they began to recognize the delight of giving and sharing, which they had not imagined when they had had a life for profit-making activities.
Thirdly, researcher was able to categorize the contexts of their Encore Career experiences by three time-base stages; the beginning phase, middle phase, and ending phase. Each of the experiences had different core metaphors. In the beginning phase of Encore Career, the adaptation, stimulation, growth, and (re)designing activities were processed. They individually reflected on their former lives and began to think about how they will manage the rest of their life. After that, they pursued holistic growth, in which they tried to find and do what they are good at and what they value the most. In the middle phase, based on the growth they achieved in the beginning phase, they pursue lifelong learning and challenged themselves in order to live as their true selves by (re)designing and distinction Encore Career activities in their own ways. In the ending phase, their Encore Career activities were connected to the perception of social reflectivity, which was developed into another perception focused on the thoughts of social meaning and possibility of social change, and they began to resistance and (re)structure their own dreams and valuable activities for the rest of their life.
Fourthly, from a transitional learning perspective, the meaning of their Encore Career activities and experiences can be summarized with four basic strategies and another four combination strategies. To begin with, the disclosed meaning of the [adaptation] strategy, among the four basic strategies, was to re-prepare another stage of their life after coming down from the colorful first stage. The meaning of [growth] strategy was to pursue holistic growth in which they try to do what they like, can do well, and think valuable. The meaning of [distinction] strategy was to pursue their Encore Career activities in their own way. Lastly, the meaning of [resistance] strategy was to aim for their dreams and socially valuable acts. The meaning of [stimulation] strategy, among the four combination strategies, was to reflect on their past life and ponder upon their rest of life. The meaning of [(re)design] strategy was to pursue lifelong learning. The meaning of [challenge] strategy was to becoming and to be me in live as their true selves. Lastly, the meaning of [(re)construction] strategy was to gradually become a person who has important existential meaning for somebody else.
Through the results above, the conclusions of this thesis are as follows. The experiences of the research participants’ Encore Career activities are a process of relentless feedback and reaction to the world, and another process of push and pulling of survival and defining values and meaning in their second chapter of life.
Secondly, Encore Career activities are a process of to be me or becoming to live as one’s true self via individual reflection and social reflectivity of a subject who is full of self-will and autopoietic being.
Thirdly, the transitional learning framework operate as useful tools for pursuing and realizing the meaning of the second chapter of their lives for baby-boomer retirees which can be earned by living a humane, existential, and self-transcendental life.