Interested in pursuing a different kind of work, but not sure how to go about it? There are plenty of organizations that provide coaching, retraining, counseling, networking, job listings, moral support and more. Here are a sample few:


Shift is a nonprofit networking organization in Minneapolis. The programs it offers to help people make midlife career transitions include monthly speakers, workshops, small-group discussions and opportunities for "midternships" (midlife internships). A "time bank" lets members swap volunteer time for services. Membership costs $60 a year.


Empowered is a new online retraining school aimed at boomers. The for-profit company is scheduled to launch this summer and, in September, to begin yearlong educational programs in 10 fields, including health care management, web design, financial planning and college counseling. A joint effort of partners from Silicon Valley, the entertainment industry and the University of California-Los Angeles Extension, Empowered is based in Los Gatos, Calif., and will be opening a second location in St. Louis Park, but will deliver courses to students all over the country via iPad. Graduates earn a UCLA extension certificate (most courses don't require a college degree). Tuition will be about $10,000.


Encore Careers offers loads of information and other resources for people seeking midlife careers that "combine purpose, passion and a paycheck." Operated by a think tank called Civic Ventures -- whose founder and CEO is Marc Freedman, author of "The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife" (PublicAffairs, 2011) -- Encore's services include lots of step-by-step guidance and career advice on its website, online discussion groups, job listings, community college partnerships, and the Purpose Prize: a $100,000 award for social innovators over age 60.