YU-CARE to screen documentary film on older adults’ transition into second and third careers

Following the successful world premiere in Montreal, Quebec last month, the documentary film Redirection: Movers, Shakers and Shifters, will be shared with the York University community and the broader public on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Professor Suzanne Cook, a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and YU-CARE, is the executive producer of the film.

Suzanne Cook

Suzanne Cook

“Stories about later life work struggles and challenges, including the search for new employment, are often untold,” said Cook. “Using narrative or storytelling, with film as the medium for knowledge mobilization of my research, I share people’s voices and experiences with later life work and career shifts.”

The film is one part of a research project The Redirection: Work and Later Life Career Development Project recently conducted by Cook. The project investigated older adults’ transition into second or third careers and their work experiences. This national research initiative was funded through a grant from the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC).

The career development of older adults is a neglected area of research, Cook explains. “In our society, older workers tend to be overlooked, especially within the traditional social institution of retirement,” said Cook.

“I am grateful to have received financial support from CERIC for this project. The study has received a great deal of attention from the moment it was announced and I have been overwhelmed by people’s reaction,” said Cook.

The documentary film portrays the later life career transitions of five individuals, age 50 and older.

“These stories are compelling; they make you stop and think about work and employment differently.” The individuals who appear in the film did not participate in the research, said Cook.

With the aging of the Canadian population, there is also the aging of the Canadian workforce. There is a social shift occurring in later life. More people will be considering options for later life work and research needs to examine older workers and their labour participation, including their career development, said Cook.

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