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 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.
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 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.”
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 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
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 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 Jan 31, 2016
It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to focus on Canada’s aging workforce at the recent symposium devoted to this topic. In fact, since presenting at CEDEC‘s Maturing Workforce Symposium held at Cannexus16 a few days ago, I have continued to reflect on some critical issues.
The aging population equates to an aging labour force and this has implications at the individual, organizational and societal level. These complex issues demand employer policy as well as social policy to help address them.
Life spans have increased and individuals are responsible for saving more for their retirement at the same time that financial markets and investment returns are shaky. It is no wonder various polls report that more people expect to continue working past traditional retirement age.
Mature or older workers have different goals and needs than younger age groups. They want flexibility from employers. They need career pathways that help them meet specific objectives.
Both the way we work and the linear career path of the past have changed. This collides with our intergenerational workplace and makes it urgent that employers create new programs and policies to facilitate talent management, training and development and career progression.
Later life career development is new terrain in the work-life landscape. Navigating job change and moving into mentorship roles are difficult tasks. In addition, succession planning and knowledge transfer need to be mapped out. Businesses and organizations are trying to identify and understand what this means in their workplace.
With these powerful demographic and economic forces, we are undergoing a major social and cultural shift surrounding later life work and retirement. We are in a revolutionary transition and social policy is required to help guide and manage this significant change that will affect established social structures in Canada. New evidence-based policies and programs are required.
Finally, these issues are complex. Collaboration and partnership are required to navigate this emerging later life landscape.