Global, remote work in my area of passion and expertise

At 50plus-skills we teach about finding work in this season of life that fits within your area of passion. We also talk about stretching yourself and learning to work remotely as this can open new and interesting opportunities. We also help you to build a portfolio life with several interests that matter to you. This past two years I have been privileged to work on a global project that is defined in these terms for me personally. The reason for sharing is to stretch yourself this year and look for new and innovative projects beyond your comfort zone.

My connection to this project has two deep roots.

1. My more than 30 years in the early childhood/parenting industry with a deep understanding that play is a key driver to build and develop our children for life.
2. My role as a board member for Symphonia for South Africa over the past ten years.

In early 2018, Symphonia for South Africa was nominated as the NPO to help build awareness around Global Outdoor Classroom Day.

Global Website: https://outdoorclassroomday.com/

Encourage South African schools and teachers to sign up for 2020 here: https://outdoorclassroomday.co.za/

They asked me if I was prepared to be the Program Manager for the South African campaign. The entire process to be done remotely connecting globally with the UK team, other global program managers, the local marketing team and schools all over South Africa.

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outdoors and prioritise playtime. In 2019, over 3 million children in over 100 countries took part.

I have now completed two years doing this in South Africa. The lessons, joy and purpose have been wonderful. The financial reward has added some much-needed funds to my living expenses, and it has been a delight to meet and work with wonderful advocates of PLAY from around the world. All the work has been done from my home office plus a few meetings while travelling but all doable when you are geared, equipped and skilled to use the tools at your disposal.

The tools we used have mainly been Google Analytics, Zoom, Slack, Doodle and the social media tools of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I have had to learn and have enjoyed working with the global lead team, who have helped to teach and equip us. I have been connected to Turkey, UK, Australia, India and Columbia through this process. I have had the opportunity to re-connect with some of my SA Network who work in this industry. The end goal is to bring awareness and to build global research around the importance of outdoor play for children of all ages.

Here are the lessons around connecting the dots when looking for work for yourself in this next season:
• Know and understand what you are passionate about
• Serve others and build diverse networks.
• Learn knew skills and put them into practice daily
• Strong relationships are always available if you have built trust and deep connections.
• Working across generations can be challenging, but more rewarding in every way than staying in your comfort zone.
• Become visible as a brand.

We wake up everyday not always knowing what we will do and how we can add value. I have learnt over many years, that in the doing, learning and the serving that doors open. My challenge to all of you is to do this in 2020. Learn, serve and the earning will come. Meaning and money are both currencies and we have so many wonderful opportunities in South Africa to make a difference using our wisdom, skills and time.