Posted by suzanne on Jun 7, 2021
It is exciting to share that a new workshop series is beginning June 8th, 2021. The series is entitled Pandemic Recovery Series Conquering Ageism in Employment and is hosted by the Bayview Cummer Neighbourhood Association (BCNA). It will assist mature workers who are looking for work and seeking a meaningful challenge.
Career Coach Ann Marie Gilroy and I are co-leading the series. It runs June 8th, 15th, and 22nd. It is free to attend.
Pre-register through this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsdemsrD8oHNfyC0GO44V5lklKB7mrRZTB
For more information visit: http://www.suzannecook.ca/workshops/
Category: Active Engagement, Aging, Aging Population, Aging Workforce, Business, Career, Economic Issues, Health and Wellness, Intergenerational, Lifelong Learning, Longevity, New Retirement, Redirection, Relationships, Social Participation, Social Policy, The Redirection Project, Vital Engagement, Work
Posted by suzanne on Jan 4, 2021
During the pandemic, there have been on-going labour force shortages in healthcare with a large demand for nurses, personal support workers and physicians, as well as cleaning staff.
Staff shortages make it difficult to provide patient-centred care in hospitals and Long-term Care (LTC) homes. There are a variety of surveys and news reports on the crisis in healthcare staffing. One recent survey found that 95% of LTC homes reported a shortage in staff. In response to this survey, many healthcare professionals also stated that residents were not being properly fed and hydrated.
Unfortunately this fall, staff and residents in LTC are getting sick from Covid-19 just like they did in the spring of 2020. This creates more pressure on our healthcare system.
Healthcare staff are feeling the heavy burden. They are asking for assistance as Covid-19 infections increase.
Retirees are taking up the call. They want to help and are returning to work to provide care during Covid-19. Marg Miller is among them.
It’s time to develop formal return-to-work programs for mature workers who retire and have the knowledge and skills required to make a difference in the workplace. These professionals are making a difference during a time of great need.
Why isn’t there a provincial/territorial program to help them with the return-to-work?
Category: Aging, Aging Population, Aging Workforce, Health and Wellness, New Retirement, Work
Redirection Thoughts during Covid
Posted by suzanne on Nov 25, 2020
Individuals anticipate retirement and envision it as a time for leisure and recreation, travelling and an opportunity to do many things that they have put off. However, once retired, they realize that they are longing for the structure, sense of purpose, and fulfillment of a career.
Or they feel like something is missing from their lives. Perhaps they feel not busy and not useful or not productive enough.
Sometimes something happens to make you stop and think.
Right now during the pandemic, you have the gift of time and space to focus on yourself and your redirection. It is an opportunity to ponder the next chapter and next steps.
Use your creativity and out-of-box thinking about opportunities that you would enjoy and find fulfilling. Talk to important loved ones – family and friends – in your social circle and share what you are thinking.
New ideas, new directions – your redirection – can come from the spark of an idea that you discover during this unique time in human history.
Once you have found your redirection, take the time needed to map out and plan it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your redirection.
Category: Active Engagement, Aging Workforce, Career, Health and Wellness, Life and Living, Longevity, New Retirement, Redirection, Social Participation, Vital Engagement
Tribute to a Third Act
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.
Category: Aging, Aging Workforce, Career
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.
Category: Active Engagement, Aging, Aging Population, Aging Workforce, Career, Family, Health and Wellness, Research, Social Policy
Posted by suzanne on Sep 19, 2018
In my work, I look forward to opportunities to work closely with people who are in the process of redirecting. Individuals can be interested in occupational change, volunteer work and/or civic engagement. Regularly, I get requests for Redirection sessions. This involves working with people as they discover the ‘next challenge’.
I am thrilled to announce that another Redirection Lab Workshop series will be offered in Innisfil beginning later this month. These workshops are by pre-registration. Please contact me if you want additional information.
The small group workshops are rewarding and fun. The participants gain a lot from the Redirection series and I enjoy leading and facilitating them.
Here are some comments from past workshop participants:
“Thank you for running this course. I found it very interesting and I looked forward to each class. I highly recommend it to others wanting to find purpose and satisfaction in their retirement.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed your course and the chance to do the workshop as a small group and interact with my peers was amazing.”
“I enjoyed meeting people who are dealing with similar issues and appreciated having committed time and support to work on important issues.”
Category: Career, Lifelong Learning, Longevity, New Retirement, Redirection, Social Participation, Work
Three Tips for Mentoring
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.
Category: Active Engagement, Aging, Career, Intergenerational, New Retirement, Redirection, Relationships, The Redirection Project, Work
6 Tips for Enhancing Motivation
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.
Category: Aging, Career, Economic Issues, New Retirement, Redirection, Work
Talent Management and Later Life Career
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.
Category: Aging, Aging Workforce, Business, Career, Economic Issues, Work
Freedom of R & R, or to Continue Working
Posted by suzanne on Apr 12, 2017
There is a realignment of work and retirement in society as the population ages. It is a growing trend. Older adults are continuing to work past traditional retirement age.
CBC’s The National followed a couple of Canadians as they reflected on their decision to keep working into their later years. They found work opportunities for their ‘next act’ that help generate an income and maintain their lifestyle. Furthermore, their work is personally fulfilling and meaningful to their community.
Benefits go beyond the paycheque; working keeps people active and engaged. It was also nice to hear another perspective on the benefits of hiring mature workers.
I coined the term redirection to refer to the new stage of career as people transition into new pursuits and occupation to stay engaged and continue to work. Redirection is an alternative to retirement. It is an exciting time of life. New possibilities are investigated and explored. Older adults discover that their skills and competencies are transferable. My new documentary film explores five people’s experiences with redirection.
CBC News discusses the trend towards delayed retirement. Provinces like Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are already rethinking and implementing policy to address this new trend.
It is time to rethink government policy to consider the ways people are and can work longer and what this means for social structures and institutions in Canada.
Category: Active Engagement, Aging Population, Aging Workforce, Career, Economic Issues, Family, Health and Wellness, Intergenerational, Life and Living, Longevity, New Retirement, Relationships, Social Policy, The Redirection Project, Work