Career Pathways (August, 2011)
August 15, 2011Boomer generation workers are usually seen as one big congenial group. However, just like any other large mass, there are differences among individuals. When one takes a closer look at them, they can be divided into four sub-groups.
Retired/About to Retire: Group A: Still wants/needs to work – Due to the present economic situation, requires supplement income, most likely part-time, most likely for “extras”, e.g. hobby, favorite pastime, some travel, etc. However, can be seeking work to help pay for essentials. Work, for some, can be a way to structure part of their time. Sometimes do not necessarily want a job in their field/profession or with management/supervision responsibilities. May need to simplify or “dumb down” their resume.
Retired/About to Retire: Group B: Pursue leisure-time activities – Feels this is finally the time “for me”. May devote more time to a hobby, e.g. painting or engage in an interest, e.g. improving golf, and/or expand knowledge by enrolling in adult education courses. This is the time to spend with grandchildren, especially if not living nearby or to fulfill travel dreams. They do not need to earn a wage, but still may want to use their skills and experience to give back to the community through meaningful volunteer work.
Laid Off/Downsized – This is usually due to a cutback/reorganization/takeover. In many cases, they have been with the employer for many years, expected to retire from the organization. The grieving/loss stages need to be experienced before being able to move forward. Most likely job search skills/resume development skills are rusty and need to be up-dated. Can benefit from a job support group – “am not the only one in this boat”. May lack contact resources and networking skills. For a few, this is seen as an opportunity to make a desired work move from one field or industry to another.
Presently Employed & Want a Career Change/Shift – Desires or needs to continue to work, but in a new work arena. In many cases, feels that this the time to follow their passion. May need to do some assessment of skills, interests, values, etc. For many, making this career move means returning to the classroom – additional degree, professional development courses, or certification/license. Will need to refocus professional story, revise brand/ideal image, up-date job search skills and resume.
People can move from one sub-group to another as their situation and financial status change. It is important to be able to embrace the next life situation and to move through as many as is appropriate and natural. For example, a mature worker may experience being laid off and be hired for a new position, retire and work part-time, and then move to pursing a leisure life full-time.
Are you preparing for retirement? Or, not ready for retirement yet, but feel you need a new challenge or make some changes in your life? Take some time for reflection and looking ahead to your next step in your life’s pathway.
Annabelle Reitman Ed.D., a career management consultant and author has over 30 years experience in career coaching/counseling and is a member of the TTN-Washington DC Chapter. She specializes in clients experiencing transition as they undergo a career change or shift. Her tag line, “Possibilities without Assumptions” summarizes her philosophy and approach to working with people. She can be reached at: email@example.com or 703-370-6966 or view her profile on www.linkedin.com