By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist
As humans live longer, the ability to reinvent is becoming part of everyone’s career. Is there a roadmap that we can follow?
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Career – a journey through life
I was going through some old notebooks. I came across a drawing that was roughly like this. That is what I had drawn when I got my first job offer.
Career paths do not look like that any more. The dictionary defines the term “career” as a person’s “course or progress through life. Humans are living longer. Actuaries (the people trying to figure out how long beneficiaries will live), are now projecting people entering the workforce could live 125 years. Firms are dying out sooner. Skills are becoming obsolete. Educational qualifications are no longer the insurance policy we thought they were.
Reinvention will be as relevant for people in their twenties as it will be for those in their eighties. If you retire at 80 and are physically (and mentally) agile, you will probably be itching to do something for the next 20 years.
“When people leave school it’s not going to be for 25- or 30-year careers, it’s going to be for a 50-year career.” – Olivia Mitchell Wharton School of Business
- External triggers – The triggers to reinvent can come from job loss or retirement. Events like marriage/ divorce/ childbirth or even relocations can mean drying up of opportunities in one field. Opportunities in your profession can get impacted by technology or legislation or political turmoil.
- Internal triggers – Some people feel the need to quit when they are at the top. When you are at the pinnacle of your career, it is hard to quit. Plus there is the challenge of boredom when you hit your milestones in the first decade of your career and have another six or seven decades ahead. The CEO or VP is no longer a person a year away from retirement. Many professionals reach these levels in their thirties or even twenties. The desire to reinvent also comes when the goal is to give to others.
For many boomers, work has taken on an outsize role. It provides purpose, fulfillment and community. It creates structure and routine. – Wall Street Journal
Can you hear opportunity knocking
The triggers for reinvention vary. So does the path to reinvention.
Location-specific: The city you live in or move to can offer an opportunity for reinvention that you may not have had earlier. A small city may offer less competition for pursuing your dream than a large city. Changing your location offers a unique set of opportunities and resources to reinvent.
Adjacent skills: Someone I know moved from managing insurance in the Finance team to being part of the compensation and benefits team in HR and over time has pursued a global career in Human Resources. A strong numerical ability helped the person to reinvent himself.
Leap Skills: Dr Carl Allemby practices Emergency Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. Carl started an automotive business at the age of 19 and was a business owner and professional automotive technician for 25 years. He gave up this career to pursue a lifelong dream and graduated from medical school at the age of 47. You can learn more about him here.
Many flowers are late bloomers: A hobby or passion that you have set aside in the past may be the hottest opportunity right now. You may have put in the 10,000 hours of practice needed to enter the field.
I spent many years learning and experimenting with voicing and scripting and hosting shows for the radio (that is a photo from my college days). I ran a radio show about Bollywood movies called Movie Magic. When I wrote my first novel Mediocre But Arrogant, I turned some segments into audio clips. <listen here>. Years later, podcasting happened and I got a chance to draw upon my experience in the radio and created my own podcast. <See this> Some flowers bloom late. Do not ignore them.
Have you turned your hobby or passion into your full-time revenue stream many years later? Tell us your story by leaving a comment (or email me at email@example.com). I am always fascinated and inspired by late bloomers. I am one.
Time for Career 3.0
Career 1.0 was about working in the field one had credentials for. If you got a degree in medicine, you worked as a doctor. Career 2.0 is when the doctor decides to pursue a career as a rock musician. Credentials do not reflect the choice of careers. Career 3.0 is where someone can have multiple streams of income (at different rates) in the same day, using different skills for different buyers. Read more about Career 3.0 <read here>
Don’t retire – reinvent
In some professions there is no age for retirement. The oldest serving prime minister of India was Morarji Desai (eighty-one years). The oldest member of parliament in India was Rishang Keishing who was ninety-four when he passed away in August 2017.
Retirement is at fifty-five in Sri Lanka and fifty-nine in Bangladesh. In Libya, you would have to be seventy to retire. Men and women retire at sixty-six in Australia. The retirement age in China currently is sixty for men and fifty-five for female civil servants and fifty for female workers. Vietnam and Venezuela have fifty-five as the retirement age for women and sixty for men.
People may become irrelevant at any age. They do not have to wait to reach a certain age and then retire.