Seems that as we age there are some who evidently have a fire in their belly that starts to grow and a passion to be something before it is too late. As a boomer myself, I am frequently approached by others who openly acknowledge that they want their work to have meaning and are reinventing themselves and redesigning their work. Others are choosing to delay retirement for reasons that are unclear but we know our aging workforce is strong.
Boomers and seniors are the fastest growing group and we know that more and more individuals are choosing not to retire for financial and personal reasons and continue to contribute to our society. Some believe that there are several potential factors at play; the rising levels of personal debt, greater opportunities, shrinking nest eggs, financial fear or maybe simply because they love what they are doing and working gives meaning?
We know this aging labour force, and those working longer, also carries an implication that more jobs will need to be created to absorb newcomers into the labour force reducing unemployment. Can we learn from this? Should we be encouraging our youth to search for more meaningful careers that are in alignment with their personal passions and to believe in the do what you love and the money will follow philosophy?
At any stage, while many boomers and seniors continue to work and contribute to society, some are indeed finding creative ways to bring financial wealth and recreate and reinvent themselves so that their work is more in line with that fire within. We see new small businesses popping up and seniors who are consulting.
If one can’t find this personal alignment and gratification in their work and are looking for more meaningful ways to contribute to society, why not get involved in a community group like a book club, bridge club, wine club, hockey team or with the numerous opportunities to volunteer. Who knows, maybe involvement in such small support groups might also foster personal growth, build confidence and be the support system we need to help us manage these changes as we age. We know that positive social connections are important to aging well.
Let’s keep feeding the fire in the belly and encourage and celebrate those who are courageous enough to take responsibility to redesign their next 50 years.