This past year has has served as a glaring stoplight for many people who assessed their slim chances of ever working again. The truth is that the changes we have experienced — those due to COVID-19 and more — have opportunities embedded within their threats. As previously promised, here is a straightforward, basic planning model for future work. It’s a guiding light to follow as you plan to continue to work in one of several ways in the foreseeable future.
Forget endless chronology and look instead at your unique interests, gifts and verifiable accomplishments. Write them down. What do you want to highlight in any work you do in the future? For example, you may have been working in a company full-time as an accountant. You loved some — but not all — of the work. The work you loved are the highlights you are selling to a future employer, client or customer. Ask former teammates for their strongest impressions regarding your contributions. Think about new areas of interest and how your strengths might be an asset. Ask yourself how the work you will do in your older years will contribute to achieving your goal of living a purposeful and even longer life?
Keeping your interests in the forefront of your mind as you check the market. Where are the strongest opportunities that meet your interests? Be sure to check options beyond the fulltime job market because you may find that one of the strongest opportunities for mature workers is in the flexible workforce.
The flexible workforce option is growing at warp-speed and is a treasured opportunity for many of us facing the need to continue to earn, learn and to be a part of a larger community.
Yes, you may need to enhance your skills by learning how to use a laptop, the internet and social media. Fear alone, not competency, makes this hard for many seniors. Be aware that the answers to most of your questions about your future work are at your fingertips.
Where might you learn and/or improve your knowledge? Any adult school, the community colleges, the universities and vocational schools across all islands are here to help now.
Finally, for today, ask yourself life’s central questions — “Am I creating the meaningful, longer lifetime I desire and deserve? What form of work, beyond the old-world of jobs, will help me achieve this goal?”
In the next issue, I will address flexible opportunities in the field of health and wellness; options that are exploding for older workers.