Posted by suzanne on Nov 28, 2017
People are sometimes interested in mentoring opportunities in their community. A mentor is someone with experience, knowledge and skill who provides guidance to someone. A mentor helps others develop and grow to their full potential.
Mentoring may be part of your redirection journey.
Being a mentor is a powerful role because of the possibility of having a large influence on someone and assisting them in a meaningful way. It is very exciting to be a part of someone else’s success and achievement.
Where can mentoring opportunities be found?
It takes time to research and find mentoring opportunities. Here are three tips.
1. First, assess what skills and expertise you have to provide to someone. Where will you be most useful and valuable as a mentor? Find organizations and associations where you can use your skills and expertise. Contact them and find out more about what they do and how they develop and train new members or new hires.
2. Mentoring can provide benefits to both the mentor and protege. It is a teaching and learning opportunity for both individuals. While the mentoring relationship is mutual, usually the emphasis is placed on what the proteges gain. In fact, a common bit of wisdom is that mentors walk three steps behind and keep their protege in the limelight. This is a lovely way of emphasizing the importance of helping the protege to shine. In other words, mentors receive accolades for their skill at guiding, counselling and advising while cheering and applauding the protege. In addition, outcomes related to protege achievement are usually measured in a formal mentoring program. More recent work has begun to examine mentor outcomes and goals. This is an interesting direction for research.
3. It may be possible to leverage a mentoring role into a paid opportunity. This may take time and negotiation; however, sometimes an organization requires a teacher/mentor in a formal role to guide and nurture skills and knowledge development in the younger generation. If you find the right fit and prove your value to an organization, you might find this type of role both personally and professionally rewarding.
Posted by suzanne on Nov 10, 2017
Moreover, the benefits of learning are many. Lifelong learning opportunities provide social connection, mental stimulation and a sense of purpose.
Learning helps people to expand their horizons. Learning fuels personal growth and development. Furthermore, advances in personal development stimulate learning.
Every community needs to provide lifelong learning options for mature residents. In some areas and locations, there are lifelong learning and Third Age Learning Groups. There are also learning programs offered through municipal park and recreation centres, school boards, seniors’ centres and other community organizations. Furthermore, in Canada, book clubs are a favourite way to learn and connect with others.
Learning is an important later life pursuit. Intellectual and personal growth are a critical for healthy aging.
Posted by suzanne on Nov 5, 2017
People sometimes ask me, “Are there ways to enhance motivation?” It can be difficult to keep trying to find new work opportunities or your ‘redirection’ when there are significant barriers and obstacles in the way.
It is important to find ways to motivate yourself to reach toward your goals and objectives. What are the best ways to enhance motivation?
Here are six tips:
- Set your Ikigai. Ikigai is pronounced ‘ee-kee-guy’ and is your reason for being, or your reason to get up in the morning. This is a Japanese term that I learned after reading Neil Pasricha’s book The Happiness Equation. An Ikigai is like the ‘la raison d’être’ in French. Write out your Ikigai. Put it where you can see it first thing every morning.
- Set small, measurable goals or objectives. Write them down. Then, track your progress on a weekly basis.
- Choose a mantra. Use a mantra, motto or quote that connects to your goals and speaks to you. The mantra can motivate and help spur change. It points to where you are going. Pick a mantra that makes you want to reach your goals and keep moving forward.
- Select a touchstone, an image to ground and inspire you. Choose a visual image or object that makes you want to keep striving towards your goals.
- A social network can be a good source of support and encouragement. Share your goals with your family and closest friends, or more publicly with colleagues, friends, neighbours and your broader social circle or network.
- Get out and spend time everyday with nature. This regularly creates reflective time in your life to help you design, review and evaluate goals and to think about your objectives.
Posted by suzanne on Oct 12, 2017
Incredible motivation, or lack thereof. Motivation is a great strength. It makes a big difference when working towards goals and objectives. As with all things in life, success and achievement take work. High motivation makes it happen.
Searching for the ‘next challenge?’ Strong motivation can be an asset when making this transition – an occupational redirection or change in your life. It takes work to redirect and the pathway forward may not be clear.
Motivation is key
Let’s be honest. Nothing is easy. Work is involved in redirecting. Forethought and effort are required. It is possible to lose motivation, or temporary ‘misplace’ it. Sometimes motivation is ‘low’ or lacking. It is a huge downfall when motivation is absent. This is when motivation must be recaptured.
At other times, success comes more slowly than expected; therefore, motivation needs to be sustained. Transition takes time. In addition, it is not easy to maintain motivation when the going gets tough. Everyone needs a push forward now and again. Using a mantra is one way to increase motivation. The Mottos to Motivate in the image above may help when choosing a new mantra. A motto or mantra can help people to reach toward their goals and keep moving forward.
To stimulate motivation, it often helps to look back on previous accomplishments. Once you have reached a certain age, it is possible to gain greater perspective and realize that many obstacles and hardships have already been overcome in life. This indicates how resilient people just keep trying. They eventually achieve goals and objectives through hard work and perseverance. It is possible to look to previous experiences and see how resilience made it possible to overcome barriers. Being a resilient person helped to keep you motivated and moving forward.
Today, it is important to take steps towards your redirection.
It is up to you. If not now, then when?
I will discuss additional tips for motivation in my next post.
Posted by suzanne on Sep 30, 2017
The workforce is aging. This is a critical business issue and organizations are paying closer attention.
With this new demographic shift in the workplace, the talent management and career development of mature workers must be redesigned. These are two new emerging and interconnected issues that are discussed in my latest book chapter.
I co-authored Talent Management and Older Workers: Later Life Career Development, Chapter 6 of Ageing, Organisations and Management, with Victoria Rougette (see pages 113 – 140). Here is a short description of the chapter:
“The Canadian workforce is ageing and there is greater labor force participation among older adults. These unprecedented shifts require business and industry to examine the talent management of older workers while considering their career development. In fact, a top strategic issue facing organisations is the talent management of the ageing workforce such as the recruitment, retention, training and development, and career progression of older workers. This chapter examines the career development of older workers and talent management policy in organisations through a critical lens in order to shift the discourse surrounding work and ageing. This approach can support the labor force participation of older workers and their career development needs while also strengthening talent management within organisations.”
The new book, Ageing, Organisations and Management, edited by I. Aaltio, J. Helm Mills and A. Mills and published by Palgrave Macmillan, is now available.
This edited book examines business, organizations and work with a focus on aging. The chapters are written by scholars from Europe, North America and Australia. Other chapters are entitled: Age Management in Organizations: The Perspective of Middle-Aged Employees; Reifying Age-Related Employment Problems Through the Constructions of the “Problematic” Older and Younger Worker; and Old Age as a Market Advantage: The Example of Staffing Agencies in Sweden.
Posted by suzanne on Dec 8, 2016
Redirection is an alternative to retirement. A large and growing proportion of older adults are choosing to work past what has traditionally been thought of as ‘retirement age’. This represents a significant shift in our society.
The Redirection Project examines this new and emerging social trend. Results of the research will be shared in January. First, a webinar will be held on January 12th, 2017. Sign up here. Second, there is a presentation at Cannexus17 in Ottawa on January 23rd. Sign up here.
The documentary film Redirection: Movers, Shakers and Shifters discusses these issues and portrays the stories of five adults who found second or third careers after age 50. The English and French trailers of the film are available. The documentary film is been screened through feature presentations around the country to great acclaim.
Posted by suzanne on Oct 17, 2016
There is a shift surrounding later life with the extension of working lives. In fact, both work and aging have changed a lot compared to earlier times. Specifically, the nature of work has changed, people are working longer, and people are aging differently.
People are living longer than in previous generations. They are thinking differently about their work and occupation. Work fills various objectives for individuals.
The documentary film “Redirection: Movers, Shakers and Shifters” shows the experiences of five people age 50 and older as they moved into second or third careers. The film is being released through feature presentations. The one minute trailer is available for viewing.
What will later life work look like for you? What’s next?
Posted by suzanne on Aug 29, 2016
Work and occupation are important across the life course. It is a great thrill to share the most recent research on work and aging at the upcoming CAG annual scientific and educational meeting to be held in Montreal, Quebec. At this year’s conference, I am chairing two Symposia on work and aging. I have invited some esteemed scholars to present their work. The Symposia are to be held on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016.
During the first Symposium, I will be discussing the Redirection Project. During the second Symposium, I am sharing the documentary film Redirection: Movers, Shakers and Shifters which helps bring key issues from my Redirection Project to a broader audience.
Symposium I: Policy Imperatives for Later Life Work
It is very exciting to have scholars presenting on issues surrounding work and aging and gratifying to see this much attention devoted to work and occupation as people age at CAG. As a broad gerontological topic, work and aging is particularly relevant and timely as the large cohort of baby boomers approach later life and gain their own perspective on being mature and experienced workers.
Posted by suzanne on May 25, 2016
This trend is occurring for many reasons. Some people cannot afford to retire. They need to pay bills. They need to be gainfully employed past traditional retirement age. They have not saved enough to retire. They are in debt. In other words, they cannot retire and live on a fixed income.
CBC Radio’s The Current highlighted the challenges of some of these individuals. Listen to the podcast.
Other people want to continue working. They gain a great deal from their paid work. For example, work provides self worth and self-esteem, mental stimulation, physical activity and social relationships. Some of these individuals might have retirement savings, so income generation is viewed as a benefit but it is not the primary motivation. They might be professionals who are highly educated. They believe they have more to contribute; they are not ready to retire.
When I started conducting the Redirection Project and investigating later life career development, career shift and career extension, I recognized that there is a dichotomy among older workers. Some must work; some want to work. It is great to hear from older adults about their diverse experiences (and the surveys are still available for participation). Both of these experiences are important to understand; hence, I developed the on-line surveys to reflect both sets of circumstances. The fact is that socio-economic circumstances have changed a great deal since the retirement system was developed.
Indeed, paid work during later life is important. Paid work represents many things to individuals. Motivations for later life paid work are complex. This new trend is a big shift from the previous model of retirement. It is a big shift within workplaces as well. Policy to address this social change must be carefully handed.
This is why the qualitative and quantitative datasets collected through the Redirection Project are critical for gaining a better understanding of later life career development and employment experiences and informing social policy, organizational programs and career development practice. For more information about the Redirection Project, please visit www.MyRedirection.com.
Posted by suzanne on Feb 16, 2016
The workforce is aging and the mature workforce has distinct benefits to offer employers. Leading-edge organizations are beginning to understand this. It is exciting to see the strengths of older workers being recognized in Canadian workplaces.
This is because older workers have many benefits to offer employers. At the same time, human resources professionals have a key role to play regarding the career development of older workers. They can develop strategies that move older workers into roles that enhance workforce effectiveness and organizational productivity. In fact, to meet organizational objectives there are five areas for human resources professionals to focus on:
- Identifying new career pathways
- Adjusting the organization with HR strategy
- Redirection reset button
- New career challenges and projects
- Career development, beyond traditional retirement
As I outline in the January 2016 issue of HRPA magazine, it is critical to pay attention to these issues. Managers and human resource professionals who understand what an aging society means for their workforce can leverage mature workers in their organization. For more information, I invite you to read pages 31 and 32 here.