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Many people are more multi-dimensional that you may expect. It’s interesting to talk with people who had a successful career in one arena and then pivoted to do something different. We’ve spoken with an NBA referee, an astronaut, a retired distinguished professor, executives in healthcare and finance, a lawyer, and a police chief. Their stories may inspire you to consider your own second act – perhaps full-time or part-time, but on your own terms. Our guest today had a highly successful 2o-year run at a dream job – lead singer in a rock band. And she’s now in the midst of turning to her next chapter – a career on the field of Gerontology. She’s built a strong foundation, having returned to school, graduating with not one, but two Masters degrees this year, including one from USC in Gerontology in May.
Brett Anderson joins us from California.
For 20 years, Brett Anderson was the lead singer of the female rock group The Donnas, and performed on Saturday Night Live, David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. And then she made a pivot which began with going back to school, first at LA City College where she was valedictorian, and transferred to Stanford University where in 2019, she received a degree in psychology. This year she earned a Master of Science in Gerontology at the University of Southern California and a Master of Social Work at UCLA .
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Career Change with Purpose Top of Mind – Chris Farrell
For More on Brett Anderson
The Former Lead Singer of The Donnas Has a New Beat: Gerontology
On Her Interest in Gerontology
“I started to notice older people when I was out in public and just noticed people talking over them or looking through them and imagining how that would feel. And as a woman I do get some of that myself when I’m in a room of men. I get talked over and looked through, but I think it’s amplified when you’re older, especially if you have any kind of physical disability, if you’re in a wheelchair and you’re physically at a lower level than other people. I think it’s really easy to be just, well, a good word for it is overruled. Basically I just was able to put myself in that position and imagine how terrible that would feel and it made me want to change our environment, change our policies, change our society, and change everything about the way that we treat older people in our society.”
“For the first four years of school, it was just all about humility. I think you know when you have a literal spotlight on you, it inflates your ego. But I think the thing that people don’t realize is there’s sort of like the equal and opposite extreme. So whenever your ego is inflated, you also sort of have this growing, compensating insecurity. And I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone, but it was definitely like that for me. So it was really just a process of getting rightsized, of being confident about the things that I had the right to be confident about, and then sitting down and shutting up about the things that maybe I didn’t know what I was talking about. And it was really hard to tell the difference between those things in the beginning. And slowly, and with many mistakes, and public mistakes, I learned the difference between the things that I can take credit for and the things that I really shouldn’t take credit for.”
On True Success
“I always bring a different perspective and a lot of people don’t get that perspective in their daily life. So I think that’s a benefit that I bring to the table. I also think having been successful at a young age and knowing that that isn’t the answer to my problem of what am I doing with my life and where do I find my self-worth. I know that success is external, and I learned that at a young age. I learned that the VIP Room is often a broom closet. You’re fighting and fighting and fighting to get deeper and deeper into the club and it’s really not that cool. So I feel like I’ve unveiled the the illusion a little bit and that helps me be happy in my daily life with what I have.”
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He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy coming this summer.
Intro and Outro voiceovers by Ross Huguet.