We are all born with unique gifts and talents. As we experience life, we start to build different elements and characteristics that define who we become. Working as a career coach with someone at 50 is very different from working with a young person straight out of school or university. So, what is it that makes us unique?
The first 25 years are about education and preparing for the future. Once our career starts, we develop skills, experience, wisdom, relationships and learn from the journey of life. We experience valleys and mountain tops. We develop character. In the past the reward at the end of this journey after 35 years of work was a few years of retirement and then death.
This has changed not only for our children but for those of us over 50 as well. Longevity means we will be living on average 20-30 years longer than our grandparents. Technology is changing the way we work. Most of us have not saved enough to survive in retirement and need to find ways to invest for longer. We need to find work that matches who we are NOW. This is the context of career coaching for those who are seeking a way to thrive in a 21st century changing world.
A coach helps us to ask the hard questions as well as the out of the box ones that may not be on our radar. The investment of working with a coach or doing a short online course around this process may be an investment worth making. In fact, employers should be offering this kind of process to all mature employees so that they are better prepared for the future. If your employer is not offering this to you, invest in your own life long learning. Take responsibility for your future. In most cases, this last season of work may be a combination of several income streams or a mix of work and play and for each of us this will be different. That is why we are unique.
Here are two scenarios to help you understand the process:
Alice had a great career in the environmental sciences for more than 30 years. He mom developed dementia and Alice spent many hours helping to care for her mom. During this process, she used many of the ideas from nature to help communicate with he mom. After her mom died, Alice wanted to share with others the processes and ideas she had used to make her mom’s life comfortable. Ann wanted to coach other caregivers of dementia patients on these techniques. This meant re-inventing herself and starting a small consultancy. The direction of her new career was a combination of many areas of her life coming together and a perfect fit as her Refirement career.
George had been a project manager and used many technical skills during his career. He retired early due to health issues. George spent some time at home contemplating how he could continue to earn without the stress of a 9-5 daily commute and the stress of the corporate environment. One day he saw an advertisement where an NPO was looking for a technical trainer on a part-time basis. He applied for the work and is now working and giving back by teaching the skills he acquired during his career. He has a great balance of time at home, feeling useful and earning a small salary that helps to build savings for the future.
These are two unique examples. You too are unique. Dream big, think deeply about what matters and engage to design your perfect REFIREMENT career.
At 50plus-skills we have several coaches who can help you to unlock this process.
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