There are many things we seem to lose when we retire from our professional or formal career: a salary, status, routine, social circle and a reason to get up. Our feelings are often ambivalent: we are pleased to not be constrained by these needs; on the other hand, we tend to miss them and struggle to replace them with similar but fresh interests in this next season.
It seems such a pity to work and build skills, experience and wisdom for 40 years and then feel as if we are no longer relevant or needed. This is a tragedy of the current retirement system. We feel younger and healthier than any former generation that has arrived at this point and yet ageism rears its ugly head in many forms.
Technology is also changing the landscape both at work and in every facet of our lives. Remaining relevant and connecting can now be done at a distance via Skype and it is not necessary always to be face to face with people to make a difference.
My company, Refirement Network has had a dream for a number of years to start a Skills Bank. This is a place where those of us who would like to add value or need to earn have a place where we can BANK our skills. The skills we have that we would like to share in this season. It may be as a mentoring engineer or coaching a young team through a project. It could also be reading to/with children once a week at a school or working with a group wanting to understand and master your carpentry skills. It may be once a week or for a short contract season.
The challenge has been that up to now there has been no such place.
We have now launched the first round of this Bank where you can list your details and skills. The vision at this stage is that once we have assets in the bank, it is possible to look for ways to invest these assets into society and the current work community.
Within days of launching, I had a number of calls from companies wanting a specific skill to mentor a young team and even a company looking for a 55 + Operations manager for a large organisation. It is also a way for me to start conversations around transformation solutions when you sit with 50 engineers or teachers on your books.
We have the opportunity to go off script and design an interesting and fulfilled life for ourselves. We create what we want, where we want to be and how and with whom we want to engage. It is an exciting time to be in this season of life.
Why not add your skills to the bank? Here is the link to do so: https://www.refirementnetwork.com/content/listings/
Building our nation and our communities takes the time and skills of young and old alike. We have more time on our hands and skills in our hands. Take a look at your goals and plans for 2017 and think how you can add value and remain relevant.