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 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 Jan 26, 2016
I coined the term redirection to refer to the new stage of career as individuals transfer their skills, experience and knowledge in a new direction. By pursuing a new occupation, individuals are able to use some of their strengths while learning something new. This provides revitalization.
Attention Northumberland County Residents, please click here: Magnet Redirection Project.
The Redirection Project examines how Canadians in their 50s, 60s and beyond are turning away from traditional notions of ‘retirement’ to seek new employment. There is a radical change taking place with an expansion of our working lives and re-imagining of retirement as the baby boomers enter what has traditionally been viewed as their retirement years.
The Redirection Project is a CERIC-funded national research initiative. The project consists of a national survey (see below), success stories to help inspire others and a documentary film (see the story contest).
The research examines partipants’ experiences with later life work and career development as they shift gears and pursue new types of work.
If you are age 50 or over and seeking new employment (or have already found your new career), you are invited to participate in important research about this topic in order to help others in similar circumstances.
The project has received great coverage in the Globe and Mail.
Posted by suzanne on Jan 24, 2014
Older adults are lifelong learners. They like to learn new things and there is a need to celebrate the learning of all age groups. This is especially the true for seniors. The myth that older adults don’t like technology is being challenged; more and more older adults are embracing technology.
Often, older adults jump at the chance to be shown how technology can make a difference in their lives and how they can better use it. I hear anecdotal reports of grandchildren teaching a grandparent how to use a cell phone or iPad. The wonders of technology can be taught intergenerationally, as the program Cyber-Seniors and the great new documentary film of the same name indicate.
Older adults’ openness to technology is evident when statistics on technology use are reported. More than half of seniors are on-line. Those age 65 and older use the Internet and email, with technology users usually active on-line on a daily basis. For example, among those seniors who use the Internet, 70% go on-line daily. This breaks stereotypes many of us hold of older adults!
Seniors like to research government websites, obtain financial information, such as stock quotes or check mortgage rates, or search for health information on-line. And 44% of seniors age 65 to 73 watch videos on-line, with 34% of them visiting social media sites. In addition, a large proportion of seniors – 7 out of 10 – own a cell phone. Check out the PEW report on Older Adults and Internet Use.
Stimulating curiosity and intellectual growth and development are the real joys of learning. Grey hair or not, we are all lifelong learners! Sometimes older adults need support and encouragement to try something new. It is time to debunk negative stereotypes of aging and develop more intergenerational programs. There is great joy and vitality when the generations interact. A special opportunity to view Cyber-Seniors is available through the Peterborough International Film Festival this weekend.
Posted by suzanne on Oct 2, 2013
Many individuals are drawn to the new and the novel, yet they often fear change and new experiences.
People are curious about the world, about the possibilities lying just beyond the sightline. A love of learning drives curiosity and an interest in new things. Learning new things is fun, exciting and enjoyable.
New things capture the imagination and create excitement; however, the double-edged sword is that the new is also anxiety-provoking. The new is uncertain and never guaranteed. It represents the unknown as well as the unfamiliar, so that while we gain energy and enthusiasm for the new and novel, this newness and uncertainty make us anxious. These contradictions are part of what makes us interesting as human beings but also part of what holds us back when new opportunities arise.
The uncertainty that derives from the new and novel can curtail the pursuit of our goals and our learning as well as our growth as individuals. We tend to get stuck in the same familiar ways of routine and habits rather than having the motivation to continue learning something new or taking the steps toward change. We can become overwhelmed by the change and the new direction rather than make a big change.
1) As individuals, we enjoy learning new things and are attracted by the new and novel
2) While new things are exciting, they also make us anxious
3) The new can lead to change, growth and transformation if we make a choice to go with the change
There is a newness and unexpectedness of each day when we change, embrace that change and welcome the beauty of the new day into our life. Change keeps life fresh. Novelty is vital in life. It keeps life interesting. For those who welcome it, there are ample rewards.
Posted by suzanne on Feb 8, 2013
Last week, I was in Ottawa attending and presenting at Cannexus13. This is the annual conference for individuals in career services (e.g. career counsellors and career coaches) and academics who study career and career-related issues.
It is no surprise that a growing number of individuals attend this conference every year; career and occupation are important not only for financial security and life style; they are critical for identity and self-esteem and a big part of life.
My interest is in older workers and their career and occupation as well as in the transition to retirement. I am not sure that employees and employers are on the same page when it comes to these issues. I am seeing a growing divide in attitudes and expectations between older workers and their employers and society in general.
The most progressive employers are doing innovative programing for retirement planning as well as providing a bouquet of options for the transition to retirement. Through my presentations, I discuss my model of the new retirement and describe various inspiring examples of retirees who are finding meaning, fulfillment and purpose during the second half of life. These individuals and their experiences are motivating and can help encourage others to seek out options that provide renewal and rejuvenation. This is because the second half of life is an opportunity to ‘seize life’.
Posted by suzanne on Jan 17, 2013
As an Academic Entrepreneur, I see the value of transferring knowledge including research and theory into practice. A key aspect of academic entrepreneurship is moving knowledge production to knowledge, resource and technology transfer within organizations and businesses. By achieving this, knowledge and awareness are promoted within the community and the broader society.
Knowledge translation (or knowledge mobilization) means finding innovative ways to share my research and theory and put it into practice. How am I ‘spreading the word’? I am connecting with the stakeholders who are invested and involved in my work. Hence, in addition to making conference presentations for academic audiences, I am speaking to organizations and groups who are interested in my research. While I continue to write academic manuscripts, I am working on a guidebook to retirement. Finally, I am making a documentary film that will challenge our attitudes towards aging.
What are the benefits of doing this? I am able to build stronger connections to the community by ‘getting out there’ and making myself available to businesses, organizations and individuals. My connections to the community help me to focus on and continue to research the topics that matter to people. Plus, by speaking and presenting, there is greater awareness regarding these issues in our society and I am contributing to the social dialogue.
Transferring knowledge into practice is important. I am passionate about my work and believe my next steps include sharing my knowledge and expertise with those who can most benefit from it. This is the direction I need to take my research because I believe my work can make a difference in people’s lives.
Clouser, M. (2011). The Importance of Academic Entrepreneurs. http://academicentrepreneur.wordpress.com/
Erdös, K. & Varga, A. (2010). The Academic Entrepreneur: Myth or Reality for Increased Regional Growth in Europe? Working Paper IAREG WP1/03g.
Marnett, A. (2010). Professor? It’s ‘Academic Entrepreneur’ to you. http://www.benchfly.com/blog/professor-its-academic-entrepreneur-to-you/
Stuart, T. E. & Ding, W. W. (2006). When Do Scientists Become Entrepreneurs? The Social Structural Antecedents of Commercial Activity in the Academic Life Sciences, AJS, 97–144.
Posted by suzanne on Dec 21, 2012
As parents, we instil a love of reading in our kids and teach them to read at an early age. As grandparents, we really enjoy reading to our grandchildren. Reading brings immense joy. What could be more delightful than to sit with a child on your lap, cuddling as you read an adventure or look at a picture book together? Moreover, this is a wonderful way to stimulate a young mind because sitting together and reading is foundational for child development during the early years.
I have been on the lookout for children’s stories that portray wonderful family relationships that are intergenerational, especially books that have images of vivid, engaging grandparents. I have collected some real treasures. Here are a few of the favourites from my shelf:
- The Bye-Bye Pie by Sharon Jennings, illustrated by Ruth Ohi
- Bigbeard’s Hook: Nathaniel McDaniel and the Magic Attic by Evan Solomon, illustrated by Bill Slavin
- Night Noises by Mem Fox and illustrated by Terry Denton
- Someday by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds
I expect to see more books that provide positive images of seniors on library and bookstore shelves. As the population ages, books like the ones above will be written and published to meet the demand for good intergenerational stories. If you have some books to add to this list, I’d enjoy hearing about them.
Have a wonderful holiday. Happy reading to all!
P.S. Dear Readers - To the above list, I am adding:
- A Little Something: A Story about Love and Legacies by Susan V. Bosak, illustrated by Laurie McGaw, and
- Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes by Susan V. Bosak
Posted by suzanne on Nov 11, 2012
On November 11th, individuals across Canada will pay tribute to those killed by war and military operations, those who never returned home. These men and women died for what they believed in and for Canada. We remember them.
Some Canadians stop and remember their loved ones – friends and family members – who died. Some think about these sacrifices but have no one to specifically pay tribute to for their courage, strength and determination.
Older adults who have real stories to tell about war are the best teachers for young people who are learning about Remembrance Day. It is wonderful to see schools inviting guest speakers for their ceremonies. Many schools put on an impressive, moving Remembrance Day ceremony. I wonder what synergies would result if, in addition to inviting a senior or two who served in military operations, schools made an effort to invite seniors living in the surrounding community and neighbourhood to attend the ceremony as well.
The importance of Remembrance Day is best expressed through intergenerational learning about the men and women who served Canada and made the ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of younger generations. History comes to life and helps all ages to remember.