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EvolveMe #40over40: Michelle Hynes

This is our time! We’re stronger when we work together to lift other women up. EvolveMe's #40over40 list curates profiles of women who have or are in the process of reinventing their careers in their 40s, 50, 60s, and beyond. We're thrilled to share these stories of reinvention - women returning to work, pivoting careers, or launching new ventures!

Meet Change Facilitator Michelle Hynes. Over the last 20+ years, she's been a nonprofit executive, consultant, board member, and volunteer. Now she collaborates with organizational leaders and teams, particularly in situations that demand navigating complex change. She also coaches social-sector leaders and individual activists who are experiencing planned and unplanned transitions in their work life.

Keep on reading to learn more - you'll see Michelle speaks EvolveMe's language!

What's the current focus of your career?

I first reinvented my career in my 20s, when I shifted from teaching reading to working in a national nonprofit organization. Instead of spending my days in a classroom, I spent more than a decade traveling to schools and community centers all over the country. Along the way, I trained as a meeting facilitator and a qualitative evaluator.

In my 40s, I got restless and moved from the east coast to the west coast. As part of that move, I got a coaching certification and started my own business. Now, I collaborate with social-change leaders who need short-term strategic support to increase their impact at work.

What prompted your career reinvention?

I love variety in my work, and I love to learn. So every few years I change things up! I'd spent years working with groups, growing teams, and supervising individuals but I didn't have any real training in working with people one-on-one. Coach certification was a way to deepen my capacity to support individuals' growth.

What's the best thing about midlife career change?

We have so much experience and perspective behind us, and so many years still ahead to make changes and choices.

Your best career advice for other women at midlife is...

"Don't go it alone." Surround yourself with friends, colleagues, and mentors of all ages. Your network will always help you succeed.

"We have so much experience and perspective behind us, and so many years still ahead to make changes and choices." - Michelle Hynes

What's the biggest challenge?

Systemic and internalized ageism. We don't always give ourselves credit for how flexible and capable we are.

What's your personal mantra or mission? Why?

"Stay curious." There's always more to learn -- from the world around us, from other people, from the endless stack of library books around the house.


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