50Plus-Skills engages with Twitter Chat

On Monday the 19th of August I was invited to take part in a twitter chat with Mpo Masita who runs #AfricaCareerChat Below you can read the questions she asked and our responses. I am grateful to bring clarity around what we do and to have been involved in this conversation.

50 Plus-Skills, the name gives us an idea of people over the age of 50 using their skills even after retirement.

1a) What exactly is it that 50 Plus-Skills does for individuals over 50 years?
Longevity and technology are changing the way we need to think about work. We are living on average 30 years longer than our grandparents. #100yearlife This means we should think differently about life and work. #AfricaCareerChat
We help this generation to think about and plan their next season of life. Each person is unique in this season and as coaches and facilitators we help individuals to understand their unique path. #AfricaCareerChat
Most South Africans have not saved enough money to sustain a longer life and need to look at new innovative ways to earn beyond their formal work life. #AfricaCareerChat

1b) Is there really a movement of older people using their skills at retirement? How does it look like us SA? What kind of activities are these people involved in? Are they purely voluntary?
This is a global trend that is developing. If people are going to live for an extra 20-30 years and feel healthy, they need a purpose in their lives. Using our skills for work- paid and unpaid is a growing trend. #AfricaCareerChat
South Africa is unique due to our political past. We have many in the current generation who may not live much beyond their 60th birthday and others that reflect a longer life. #AfricaCareerChat
This is changing fast and our average age of death is climbing exponentially. By 2050 Africa will have the most people over 60 in the world compared to any other continent. We need to start planning now when we are still young. #AfricaCareerChat
The activities are broad. Some just volunteer, others start their own business and many combine work and play in this season of life. #AfricaCareerChat
The kinds of activities include coaching, mentoring, supporting small business, entrepreneurship, working online, teaching, facilitating and serving. #AfricaCareerChat

2. As 50 Plus-Skills, you believe in age diversity benefiting economic growth. How do we strike the age diversity balance when there is seemingly a tug of war between older workers and younger workers in the workplace?
Technology and change are driving a wedge between generations. Working in inter-generational teams is a key driver of success. The energy of youth with the experience of the elder. #AfricaCareerChat
We believe in becoming Menterns. Being humble and open to learn from the youth around digital literacy (Intern) and being the mentor to the youth on leadership and emotional challenges. Trading DQ for EQ . #AfricaCareerChat
Our current economy has many being retrenched or retired early. They may not have saved enough and need to find a way to keep earning. #AfricaCareerChat
We believe that the kind of work most people will do beyond retirement is entrepreneurial and not taking up work in the formal sector. The individual does need a growth mind set to succeed #AfricaCareerChat

3. 50 Plus-Skills assist people transition to retirement. There is a common complaint about older people in the workplace, that they are just sticking it out for retirement. How can those approaching retirement prepare for that transition from work without being labelled as uninterested and killing time?
Many are filled with fear and a lack of confidence due to the fast-changing world of work. Work has been their purpose and the pay cheque is their security. #AfricaCareerChat
Each individual needs to understand their next season before they leave their formal workplace and design what this will look like for them as an individual. This will bring a sense of excitement back into their lives. #AfricaCareerChat
We like to talk about this next season as a new sunrise not a sunset. #AfricaCareerChat
We encourage companies to invest in their employees within 5 years of retirement to go through this process #AfricaCareerChat

4. A career switch is generally intimidating. How can older workers explore job opportunities in a work environment that is forever changing and includes 4IR?
@50plus-skills provides a safe place for people over 50 to explore their options for this next season of life. #AfricaCareerChat
We believe technology has opened many opportunities that were never on the radar and offer these experienced, skilled individuals the ability to think out of the box at solutions. #AfricaCareerChat
We offer the opportunity through workshops, online learning, collaboration and coaching to guide each person to create their unique next season. #AfricaCareerChat
The gig/demand economy is an ideal place for this generation to engage #AfricaCareerChat

5. At times, companies might not invest in training for older workers because they are seen to be on their way out. How can older employers ensure they continue to keep their skills relevant for operating even beyond retirement?
We encourage companies to think about this generation and their future sustainability by offering this option to their employees. #AfricaCareerChat
If a company does not offer this option, we encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own future and start navigating their journey. #AfricaCareerChat
They can do that by joining @50plus-skills at a membership of R500 per year. This membership includes listing your details as well as a half day workshop to design your next chapter of your life. #AfricaCareerChat
We do need to keep learning new skills and keep a growth mindset to ensure success in this season of life. #AfricaCareerChat
We have many skills to share. We have so many places in our society where we can add value and give back. Together we are stronger than we are apart. Purpose, community and being an active member of society are key drivers for success. #AfricaCareerChat
Small or big, each human being over 50 can make a difference in community. One child, one old person, one young worker or graduate. Let’s change our nation together. #AfricaCareerChat