Have you ever thought about how you might reinvent yourself at 60 or even after 60?
While I always knew that the day would come, it seems to have come all too suddenly!
I can remember thinking when I was living in West Berlin in the mid to late 80’s, that come the turn of the Millennium I was going to be a relatively young 42, with decades to look forward to, and here I am now with that milestone being a full 20 years in my rear view mirror!
I will be 62 this year in October, and with luck and good health, I hope that there are at least a couple of decades in me yet.
But the real question for me is what to do with those decades? I have been fortunate enough to be in continuous, good salary earning, employment since the day I left school in May 1975. In fact, I have only been unemployed for 9 hours between midnight on 31 October 2005 and 9am the next morning. That’s another story for another day LoL.
I appreciate that this may be something of a record these days, and I am actually in a position, where I know that I will continue to be employed, in a relatively high 6 figure salary bracket, for the next 12 months.
But until 3 months ago I did not know what my 63rd year was going to hold for me, whether anyone would be interested in employing me at that point, how long I would like to work beyond that, and what I could possibly do.
In this post I am going to replay the steps that I have gone through in my own analysis with a view to perhaps helping others in their analysis of the same. It is not the things that I have decided to do that are important, they are merely the vehicle for the story. What is important is how I have addressed the situation to arrive at some firm decisions, set myself some goals, and monitor my progress, for what might well be my last year of formal salaried employment.
This is a story not just about work, but about valuing life and being valued in life. It is about recognising that Boomers have a great deal to offer, if only we would take control of our own destinies, grab life by the testicles, and squeeze hard until it sings soprano!
I hope that you find it useful……
The truth is that access to paid work has not been an issue for me for my whole adult life. As indicated earlier in this post I have had continuous employment for a solid forty-five years to date, in fact as of 9th May 2020. I have worked hard, had some good luck, been in the right place at the right time, and all in all, I have no complaints about my working life over that time.
In fact quite the opposite, I have had the most incredible adventures living in 10 countries and travelling to many others. I have been in some interesting places in the world, at historic times, that did not occur to me so much at the time, but which in retrospect, I was very privileged to be a part of (there will be a book I think one day).
But I had an experience in 2014/15 which unsettled me and which I have never really gotten over.
I said earlier that I have often been in the right place at the right time, and I have had my fair share of luck. So it was that in 2013 I was awarded a full scholarship, with full salaried sabbatical, to attend Victoria University of Wellington and complete a Masters in Information Management, over 3 trimesters (effectively 12 Masters papers in 12 Months).
Sounds like a lot of hard work, and indeed it was, with the years work being rewarded come graduation with my Masters qualification with a distinction about which I was as you would expect very chuffed!
So why did this unsettle me? Quite simply because though I worked every bit as hard as I would have done in my day job (actually often harder, with the candle being burned at both ends, to get assignments planned, researched and drafted) I felt that I had more control of my own time. Yes my assignments were tied to a timetable but I had few distractions and I could order my time and be flexible to effectively be a house husband while studying. In some ways for that year I experience what it was like to have a passive income because I was being paid but working largely to my drumbeat and Bon one else’s
This had a lasting impression on me and I determined that once I had achieved my last big career objective, that I would then work towards recreating those conditions for the rest of my working life.
The former (last big objective) has come to pass, actually two years ago this month, and the latter I am now pursuing, with some vigour, with the aim of being in that position by May 21.
Having made the decision to get ready for May 21, the trigger for which is the end of a contract of service, I then had to work out what would take the place of my very comfortable New Zealand government salary.
I also had to consider how I would earn this money and achieve the flexibility of being able to manage my time to suit me, last experienced, in 2014, while on academic sabbatical.
So I considered what transferable skills I have, and how I might apply them in other areas and I set to work looking for the possibilities to earn, have flexibility of time, enjoy the activities I would be involved in and still be able to learn and grow as a person.
It was while doing this research that I had my interest sparked at the possibility of becoming a commercial Blogger.
Planning For Success
for 45 years I have been going to work every day and I have for my troubles been paid a salary in arrears. I have been very fortunate that in my first 30 years of that career I earned the right to a vocational pension that has been paid to me every day since 1 Nov 2005.
As my older children will be clear of university by the end of 2020 and will not be expecting support, which we have been giving since my oldest daughter (now an academic tutor at my own Alma Mater) went to university 4 years ago. It is not necessary for me to earn quite so much in my last phase of working life.
I am a marriage celebrant which makes a modest sum and I will very shortly be a certificated facilitator for a leadership and mindset philosophy programme, born out of the US but gaining widespread adoption here in Australasia. I have already negotiated some consultant contractor work, supporting providers of facilitated training for this programme.
3 months ago, quite by chance, I stumbled across an opportunity that allowed me to take the skills, which I had been developing over a decade, as a freelance content writer, and put them to work for myself, writing my own commercial Blogs, of which I now have 3, this being one of them.
By May 21, in twelve months time, I will have 4 income streams, all of which are subject to flexible time management, two of which are based on passive earning, and all of which allow me to grow and develop, remain engaged, and live a comfortable, but not extravagant lifestyle.
As I am going into the land of self employment, which can be lonely, particularly after the work that I have done for the last 45 years, I have made a point of finding both a mentor and a coach (quite different skill sets) who I am working with to ensure that I stay centred and on track and that I remain challenged and committed to my goals.
This is how I plan that my re-invented self will stay grounded and focused on the balance between ‘getting stuff done’ and achieving the outcomes reinvention was always designed to deliver.
How will you reinvent you…………?
Do You Have A View?
I hope that you found this article of some interest to you. I welcome feedback and discussion on my Blog pages and I would invite you if so moved to leave your comments and opinions in the reply section below this post. I guarantee to reply within one working day.
Perhaps you have other views on how you might reinvent yourself, or don’t see the necessity or you may have experience of having done this or observed someone else doing it. I am really interested in hearing about any and all of these. Please do get back to me on here if you do.
Thanks for reading my Blog page.
P.S. If this post has inspired you to become a Blogger yourself, and make money while you do it, you can find out how to do just that, by reading my post on Blogging for Business How To Go About It.
This includes an easy FREE method to get started and FREE hosting of a website upon which to base you Blog