Kerry Hannon, senior columnist for Yahoo Finance and the author of “In Control at 50+: How to Succeed in the New World of Work,” discussed business and career opportunities for older adults on the first episode of my new podcast, “Positive Aging with Patricia Raskin,” which launched on Rhode Island PBS on Sept. 20.
Hannon talked about opportunities for older adults in the workplace as a consultant, entrepreneur, contract worker or employee, in addition to how remote work can expand opportunities.
Here are my five takeaways for older adults to create more work opportunities:
Value your education, experience and wisdom, and keep learning.
We often overlook what active agers bring to the table, and sometimes hide them “under the table.” Access your skills and talents, and talk up these strengths.
At Aish.com, Emuna Braverman writes in her article, “The Meaningful Job,” that “The Torah tells us the story of Chanoch, a simple shoemaker who took great care with every stitch. For his conscientious attention to his work, for his ethical behavior in pursuance of a mundane occupation, Chanoch merited Heavenly notice and reward. This was a gift to him – and to us. Any job can be meaningful. Because it’s not what you do, but how you do it.”
Be mindful of your greatest work/life assets – your health and time.
We have less time chronologically as we get older, but we often have greater choice about how we spend our time. Our health is our “bank account,” and we need to guard it.
Seek creative work formats, such as part time, flex time, remote work, contract work or being an entrepreneur.
COVID has expanded work venues, creating choices for many workers. Even remote work is commonplace.
Choose meaningful work to stay relevant.
We have so much wisdom from our life and work experiences. We know what works and what doesn’t, and what has meaning for us. This is a great opportunity to reflect and pray to know what really speaks to us.
In another article at aish.com, “Staying Relevant,” Braverman writes, “I think that as we age, there is a real challenge in staying relevant, perhaps in even defining what relevant means. I’m certainly not alluding to having an Instagram account or posting on TikTok. … I’m talking about feeling like our life continues to be meaningful, that we continue to matter, that our days still count.”
Move past aging myths.
The myth is that the elderly are technologically averse and challenged. The reality is that many people over age 55 are among the first adopters and drivers of many tech devices and services. Another myth is that active agers are no longer productive in the workplace. The reality: There is virtually no relationship between age and performance.
PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is an award-winning radio producer, business owner and leader. She is on the board of directors of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence, and is a recipient of the Providence Business News 2020 Leaders and Achievers award. Her new “Positive Aging with Patricia Raskin” podcast is broadcast on the Rhode Island PBS website, ripbs.org/positiveaging.