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Finding your place in today’s work environment

Created date

October 23rd, 2012

I often use the phrase Don t retire, rewire, which I credit to my friend Sherry Lansing. The point is, if you can no longer continue in your current or former career, start a new one. I m not saying that taking up a new career later in life is easy. You ve changed and the world has changed, so how do you fit in? (This also applies to volunteering or starting a new hobby.) The answer is that you have to examine your life experience; and having made a careful assessment of your assets, figure out where you can best contribute.

Skills in different settings

For example, you could have spent 30 years as a gym teacher, but if a bad back has forced that door closed and you re handy with tools, then open up a fix-it shop, maybe on Main Street or else in your own garage. If computers have replaced the job you had at an accounting firm, but you ve done a lot of parenting, you could babysit or work at a daycare center. Personally, I ve gone back to teaching. What s great about this field is that not only do I get to pass on what I ve learned, but I also learn so much from being with younger people. Yes, there are new machines in the workplace whose function will stump you and perhaps some younger coworkers who won t appreciate what you have to offer. But you need to have confidence in your skills and find ways to work around such obstacles. So dust off the cobwebs and don t be afraid to accept any job that comes your way. Once you re there, make allies of your colleagues who can work the machines and the ones who have faith in your ability to deliver. Remember, positive energy can have a snowball effect, so start your day with a smile on your face. And maybe bring cookies!