I was interested to find this article on the BBC about people still actively working till they were 100 so soon after writing about older entrepreneurs! It’s great to see some large employers like B&Q actually seeing the value of older workers and more and more people refusing to conform to a stereotypical ‘old age’. I certainly don’t want people to feel they have to work later but would like a world where what you do isn’t defined by your birth date!
I love working with people considering their 2nd (or actually more likely their 3rd or 4th!) career whether that’s finding work they enjoy or finally following their dream and becoming entrepreneurs. It’s all about considering your strengths and being adaptable, thinking what you can do rather than what you can’t. You might not have the raw energy and physical strength you had when younger but you’ve gained skills, experience and empathy, which in today’s world may actually be more relevant. After all a machine can help you lift, it can’t listen to a customer or share a lifetime’s worth of ‘how to’.
I have a family history I suppose and some great role models for later working! My grandmother finally gave up dressmaking at 80, my dad worked in the print trade well into his 70’s, my mother went back to work at 52 and only reluctantly retired at 72 when her firm moved north. (It was the thought of leaving London that was the clincher I think!) At 95 and living with us she enjoyed being our office ‘junior’, answering the door to visitors, taking in the post, making tea and tidying up.
A standard retirement age seems more and more out of place in today’s society and the current rising ‘silver’ generation hardly seems likely to want to settle down quietly on the sidelines with slippers tea and Bingo! So go for it – whatever your age!