Dedham author addressing career change for people over 50

Liz Brown of Dedham.
Liz Brown of Dedham.

FINDING A NEW CAREER: There are two groups of people most open to change, according to Liz Brown of Dedham: those fresh out of college and those 50 and older.

It’s the latter group she’ll be speaking about as she leads a panel discussion at “She Did It,” a conference sponsored by BetterAfter50.com at Babson College March 24. The 44-year-old Brown, who calls herself “the baby of the group,” chucked a career as a partner in a Boston law firm five years ago to pursue more satisfying career options.

She is the author of “Life After Law: Finding Work You Love with the J.D. You Have,” released in December.


“I talk about finding the work you love and not being constrained by prior work experience,” said Brown in a phone interview from her office at Bentley University, where she is an assistant professor of business law. “I counsel people about career reinvention, and while I wrote the book about lawyers, it really reaches a much wider audience.”

Her basic tips for finding a satisfying life after 50 include “taking a step back and looking at what you enjoy doing, at work or outside of work, where you felt good about being competent, even mastering something.”

Then think creatively about those skills that could be valuable, she said, and “if you can figure out where you can add value to those skills, you’re halfway through your first job interview” in seeking other work.

She enjoyed her law career as a litigator “standing in front of a courtroom and being an advocate. What I didn’t enjoy were the hours and demands of the job and the rigors of litigation,” she said. “Now I’m a professor, I use my advocacy and public-speaking skills to do what I love, and feel better about it. It completely changed my vision of work.”


She didn’t go straight from the courtroom to the classroom; along the way she was executive director of Boston-based Golden Seeds, an angel investment network that helps female entrepreneurs. She now does counseling as well as teaching, and has spoken about career change in lectures and also on CBS Radio, Bloomberg Radio, at Harvard University’s schools of law and business, and other venues, and is scheduled to speak at a gathering of the Boston Bar Association on Wednesday.

“She Did It” will feature a variety of mostly female speakers, including life coaches, meditation specialists, business people, image consultants, and others.

“I think people need more role models, and this conference puts people in touch with role models and shows what they can do for themselves,” Brown said.

“An advantage people over 50 have, particularly people attending the conference, is they started a career in a world where options were more limited,” she said. “They may not have had an exciting career, or liked the idea of working when options were so much more limited.”

Now, she said, “people have more opportunity and incentive to change than when they were younger, they no longer have kids depending on them, they feel a bit more free,” Brown said. “It’s a universal opportunity that people have to think more creatively and realistically about what else they could be doing and enjoying more.”

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Jean Brilliant, owner of the Avon-based moving company Brilliant Move, is logistics chairman for the 6th Annual Chefs for the Cure April 10 in Boston. The event will benefit the Massachusetts affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which raises money for breast cancer education, screening, and treatment.


Brilliant, who said he lost his mother, adoptive mother, and aunt to the disease, is also helping secure auction items for the event, and his company will pick up larger items to be brought to the venue, the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. His company is also making a donation to Komen for each referral booked as a result of the fund-raiser.

Carolyn Connolly of Weymouth has been hired as a sales assistant at Dorchester-based College Hype, which makes custom apparel and school uniforms for schools, media outlets, and corporate organizations. College Hype recently teamed up with the Wahlberg family to create a line for its “Wahlburgers” reality TV show and restaurant group. The series airs on A&E and features celebrities Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, and their brother and chef, Paul Wahlberg. The trio owns Wahlburgers, which is located in Hingham Shipyard.

Roger A. Kahan, a certified public accountant in Randolph, was installed as chairman of the board of directors of the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at pkandarian@aol.com.