Shift of focus can
The golden years of work can be a gain rather than a strain, Careerone Editor Cara Jenkin reports.
MATUREAGE workers with retirement in their sights have many options available to achieve their goals, experts say.
Staff who are eager to leave work behind them are being urged by governments and industry to stay employed to ease the skills shortage.
Access Economics projections show just 12,500 people will be entering the workforce by 2020, in contrast to 170,000 people in 2002.
Many mature-age workers, however, want or need to stay employed to continue building their retirement nest-egg and make a contribution to the community.
It means workers aged over 45 years need to find new ways to stay engaged and be valued in the workplace.
Career Clarity principal consultant Jenni Proctor says many mature-age workers feel like their career options have been narrowed and often wonder if they can do anything to revitalise their career.
‘‘Many are tired of doing the work they have always done and are attracted to the freedom of retirement but they don’t want to give up work completely, they just want to do things differently,’’ she says.
‘‘One of the things I particularly try to make clients aware of is their skills must not be dated.
‘‘If they are saying ‘I didn’t get this job because of my age’, in fact often, if you dig a little deeper, it’s they haven’t kept up with things, the way they are done, or kept themselves up-to-date.’’
She says mature-age workers also cannot say that they are ‘‘ not very good at technology’’.
‘‘To me, it’s a major red flag – my immediate response is to make sure you need to upskill in that area,’’ he says.
‘‘If you don’t have these skills, it’s basically the same as not being able to read or write these days.
‘‘It’s not optional, it’s an essential skill.’’
HR Development at Work principal consultant Bridget Hogg says counting down the days to retirement or taking more time away from work is not the only way in which workers can be happy.
She says many will gain enjoyment by making a change to their role or being a support to other staff.
‘‘Don’t do what you’ve always done, unless you love it,’’ she says.
‘‘Now is the time to choose work you love.’’
She urges workers to assess how they want to be remembered when they do leave the workforce.
‘‘Would you like to be remembered as a happy soul who inspired and encouraged others,’’ she says.
‘‘Notice how your team members contribute and praise them.’’
GBA Projects managing director Greg Betros, 58, mentors younger staff, including his son, Matthew, and Ashleigh Smith, at his project management firm so they can build the skills to work on their current energy infrastructure projects.
He says he weighed up semi-retirement about five years ago.
Instead he chose to expand the business and help younger workers coming up through the ranks.
Mr Betros says that it ignited his enthusiasm to continue on.
‘‘It’s important we provide that mentor role to the younger people,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s the experience that counts when it comes to the sorts of projects we do.
‘‘I personally find a great sense of achievement.
‘‘When they can start to understand why they are doing things and other people are doing things and start to do it themselves . . . I get a real buzz out of that.’’
Source: HR Development at Work.
Source: SafeWork SA Work Life Balance Strategy