CHAPTER 22

Paying for Your Career Shift Education

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I was sitting toes in the sand on a New Jersey beach talking to my friend Larry Schmidt, who has spent more than 30 years working for one company, Meditech, based in Westwood, Massachusetts. It’s a fast-growing medical software firm. And he has been there as it has grown by leaps and bounds, enjoying and being an integral part of the ride.

Now in his late 50s, he is beginning to think about what’s next for him. Not any time soon, but eventually, when he retires in a decade or so. His kids already graduated from college. But what struck me most about our conversation is how much he likes his work—the challenges, the opportunity to mentor and coach younger employees, and the overall work environment.

He’s a marketing and communication guy. His off-site passion is painting and drawing, and his employer is all for it. When Larry wanted to take classes to hone his painting technique, Meditech paid the tuition to support his “creative development,” particularly since he manages a group of designers and writers.

There’s even a “creativity lab” at the office for workers to zip into for a respite during the day. It’s stocked with canvas, paints, brushes, and more—all available to encourage folks to take a few brush strokes and recharge. The creativity labs are set up, Larry explains, “to promote team building through creative activities (such ...

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