Posted by suzanne on Nov 29, 2020
Are you on the cusp of retirement and longing for structure, a sense of purpose, and fulfillment?
As individuals approach retirement, they realize how much they get from their paid work just by going to work. Work provides structure to their day, mental stimulation, social interaction and friendships, self-worth and self-esteem, and a sense of accomplishment for a job well done.
Dr. Cook studies second and third careers among people age 50 and over. She coined the term redirection to refer to this emerging stage of career.
Are you ready to make a change? Need some help identifying career opportunities?
Dr. Cook provides workshops focused on the redirection transition to organizations and mature workers across Canada. Based on demand, she is offering virtual career redirection workshops.
Redirection Workshops will provide participants with the following:
- What is the redirection process?
- Where do I start?
- What have other people done during their redirection?
- What can I do to make this transition easier?
What’s your Redirection? For more information, contact Dr. Cook at Suzanne (at) carpevitam.ca. Please put ‘workshops’ in the subject line.
Posted by suzanne on Nov 28, 2020
I think it is timely to repost this blog from a few years ago. These key issues remain.
The population is aging in Canada as the baby boomer generation approaches and enters their later years. In a similar vein, the Canadian labour force is aging.
The aging population and labour force affect the Canadian economy. Policy makers, economists and government are concerned about how this will impact the economy.
Canada’s population growth is dependent upon the fertility rate, death rate and rate of immigration. Fertility rates have decreased over the decades as women have fewer children. Canadians are living longer. Immigration policy in Canada aims to bring more people into the country who can contribute to productivity and growth and compensation for the low fertility rate to keep the economy strong.
However, government, policy makers and economists do not fully recognize that older workers are eager to work and continue to work, in order to contribute to their communities. Older workers are skilled and experienced workers. They have communication, interpersonal and problem solving skills and have developed their ability to work with others. All of these skills are essential in the workplace today.
As the populations ages and the workforce becomes older, all levels of society are impacted by demographic change. Importantly, this impacts organizations who are worried about a chronic labour shortage resulting from a rapidly aging population. Organizations have identified skill shortages in different roles across various industries. This is a top priority for business leaders.
Around the globe, other countries are innovating to address these concerns. These countries believe that the best way to adopt a successful aging strategy is to realize that aging is an opportunity.
One example is Japan, where policy makers have been steering the growing number of healthy 60- and 70 year olds away from retirement into work. These mature workers are taking on work roles and this makes them productive members of society. They hold jobs ”that otherwise would be impossible to fill as the population shrinks.”1
Furthermore, an entrepreneurial focus on the aging demographic, with products and services to support aging, ensures that aging is a benefit that broader society can reap.
Although consumer spending growth overall is weak in Japan, economists at UBS Securities there say they believe the expansion of the senior market could more than offset any declines that come from a shrinking population, at least for a time.2
For Japan, the way forward is clear. For more, visit Aging Gracefully in the Wall Street Journal.
1 Schlesinger, J. M. & Martin, A. (2015). Entrepreneurs are exploring robotics and other innovations to unleash the potential of the elderly. Aging Gracefully: Graying Japan Tries To Embrace the Golden Years.
Posted by suzanne on May 15, 2020
There is a need for more medical professionals to deal with Covid-19, and Quebec has asked for additional help. Sixty retired doctors and 12 respiratory therapists have answered the call for assistance during the pandemic. The Ministry of Health gave special authorization in order for them to resume their practice.
In addition, the Ontario government asked anyone with a medical background to step forward in an effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The premier asked for individuals to help our healthcare heroes and the province launched a portal to people to match skilled workers with healthcare institutions and agencies.
Some professionals are postponing their retirement to assist during the pandemic. The postponement of retirement makes mature workers seem like a contingent workforce that is available to meet fluctuations within supply and demand. What are the implications for individuals, communities and society at large with this type of arrangement?
Posted by suzanne on May 11, 2020
Sadly, Jerry Stiller died of natural causes at age 92. He played the hilarious Frank Costanza, father to George, on Seinfeld. This role was his Third Act, following a very successful career in various other roles.
Jerry Stiller began this role on Seinfeld at age 70. He shared how he came to play the role and enter this Third Act.
He wasn’t too sure about the role; however, similar to other working men and women in their 70′s today, he really needed the work because he was unemployed. Happily, he made the role his own and will be fondly remembered for it. This role also led to a new opportunity on another show called King of Queens, rejuvenating Stiller’s career during his Third Act.
He was wonderful. He could make us all laugh and he will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.
Posted by suzanne on Nov 24, 2019
When we think about health in later life, much attention is on illness and chronic conditions. Research has often focused on illness and disease in later life, overemphasizing this as part of aging when it is possible for individuals to manage health issues and maintain a positive perspective on aging.
Older adults are healthier than in previous generations. In addition, life expectancy has increased significantly over the past 100 years. In the past, people would not live into their 60s, 70s or 80s. For example, my grandfather passed away just shy of his 100th birthday.
Many factors influence longevity. Research has discovered protective genes and environmental factors that influence life expectancy and longevity.
People continue to live with chronic health conditions such as diabetes. Individuals can manage different health issues while continuing to work, volunteer and provide caregiving to others. These activities are meaningful to individuals, families, communities and society in general. Fulfilling and satisfying activities provide broad health benefits such as belonging, social interaction and a sense of purpose. All of this contributes to mental health while keeping individuals connected to their communities.
More research should examine these protective health factors during later life rather than focusing solely on the health issues and risks.
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.