In my 2005 book Boom or Bust, I made the case that if you are prepared, it is never too late to do the work you are meant to do throughout the bonus years of your lengthening life. But if you’re not prepared, watch out for the storm clouds ahead.

Notice that I used the word “work”— not the word “job.”

Even so, you may be thinking…

• I am retired.
• Employers think I am too old to hire.
• I can’t do the physical work I once did.
• I don’t have a high school diploma or college degree.
• I don’t know where to start looking for an opportunity.

These are some of the fear words and phrases I hear every day.

Swallow this. Fear will not lead you into a more financially secure, societally connected, healthy world. But I recognize how fear stops action for many people, educated or not; physically challenged or not; old or not. Should you think that I have not walked in your shoes, I will share that I am 80 years old and in some ways wearing down, while in other ways revving up for new adventures. You can, too, because the need to remain engaged is a lifetime truth for one and all.

Rather than offer you a lengthy strategy, I suggest you take your first step — and only your first step — into the next phase that will include future work.

On a daily basis for the next several weeks, jot down a few notes related to ideas for your working future. Include inspirations, dreams and ideas that may surface around you every day. Use your imagination and remember that work can be done for the good of community, for free, for income, part-time, full-time or some of the time. Ideally, find a regular time to add daily notes to your personal journal. Don’t worry about grammar and spelling — you are the only one who will read what you write. Step No. 1 is up to you and for you only. It is your internal journey.

We will cover more steps next issue. Remember, please, without a first step, you will only be hoping — not planning — for a working future.

In the meantime, allow me to offer a gift for the holidays. If you take the time to capture your ideas in a daily journal and know how to use email, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to give you feedback.

Carleen MacKay
916-316-0143 |
Contact Carleen via her website and receive New Ways to Work, a free PDF book co-written with Phyllis Horner.