3 Useful Ways To Prepare For The Arrival Of The 60 Year Career

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Recent research from the Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL) predicts that many of today’s children can expect to live to the age of 100, an increase in life expectancy that will become the norm by 2050. For many, longer lives will mean more years spent working—a total of 60 years, to be exact.

And that’s going to require a new mind-set––and a lot more planning.

If 60 years of work seems like a stretch, perhaps it’s because we’re visualizing those 60 years through the lens of today’s environment: inflexible and poorly matched to our lifestyles.

That’s why we need to redesign work to better fit our lives in the long term. Rather than climbing the career ladder, perhaps the emphasis should be on gaining mastery on the career jungle gym.

Moves across sectors will likely become more common, as will career breaks—including stints back at school. More day-to-day flexibility is becoming a greater priority than a larger paycheck.

Flexibility is key

Indeed, many organizations are already making strides in giving workers more flexibility, including normalizing hybrid work options, and incorporating mindfulness-based practices to reduce stress and burnout.

Meditation and flexible working models, however, are only one piece of the puzzle. The future of work needs to account for not only how work-life balance will look across six or so decades, but also the kinds of skills that employees will need to learn and relearn at different points in their careers.

If we’re going to have to stay in this very turbulent workforce that’s constantly being molded by exponential changes in technology, we’ll need to start building roadmaps for life-long learning.

Half of workers need reskilling

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 predicted that half of workers will need reskilling by 2025, while 94 percent of business leaders expect employees to pick up new skills on the job. Experts agree that the companies that will survive and thrive in the future are the ones that will map out clear internal mobility pathways for their employees, reduce churn

and create that sense of loyalty. More companies will be forced to carve out time in the workday to build those new skills, rather than expecting workers to do it in their spare time.

What we have to do in the near term is think about ways to stitch together new and existing solutions around career navigation, ways to learn while earning a living and ways to smooth out the work/life balance so we’re not burnt out in the throes of midlife.

1. Stay up to date

The single most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to be informed about developments in your industry and profession on an ongoing basis.

This will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of the changing context of your professional world, so you know what knowledge––as well as the technical and soft skills–– you need to acquire. Make a point of reading trade literature, attending professional events, and studying what industry leaders are doing in order to get the best possible information.

2. Adapt to a changing workforce

It’s also critical to be willing to change your expectations regarding employment if necessary. With the rise of the gig economy, employers will increasingly be looking to engage top talent on a project-by-project basis instead of with a regular employment contract.

If you’re a highly skilled professional, you might want to or even have to consider working as a free agent in order to land interesting work that allows you to advance your career.

3. Develop a strong personal brand

Regardless of your age or field of expertise, how you present yourself, and how you work with others is key to career longevity. You need to be enthusiastic regarding change and innovation.

You should also clearly demonstrate that you have the technical proficiency to keep up with advancing technology, and the mental agility to adapt to a changing world and work environment.

With our working lives growing longer and longer, the expectation that we stay in the same jobs will become less and less reasonable. Everyone should seek opportunities to broaden their skill sets and gain new experiences, up to and including restarting in an unfamiliar industry.

If you want to properly redesign your working life, it’s worth checking out opportunities with companies that focus on nurturing abstract thinking and analytical ability and fostering multidisciplinary skills. Your first stop? Head for The Hill Job Board where you can browse hundreds of jobs right now.

Three great roles hiring this week…

The American Gas Association is currently recruiting for a Director of Public Relations to join its communications team in Washington. To apply, you’ll need experience developing and conducting media relations activities, exceptional writing, public speaking and communications skills, as well as prior experience leading and managing teams. Worth noting––AGA employees currently have the flexibility to work a hybrid schedule with three days in the office, and two days remotely.

C-SPAN is looking to hire a Marketing Content Writer to write and edit compelling content that promotes its products and services and fulfills corporate needs. You will be experienced in writing copy for traditional and digital advertising including social media ads, craft, distribute and manage newsletters, and be able to write and edit scripts for TV and radio spots. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, english or advertising, with a minimum of three years’ related experience.

The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. It offers all employees a flexible working schedule and a retirement savings plan that can be fully vested after three years. The Senior Advisor, Legislative Affairs furthers the work of The Nature Conservancy and its conservation partners through direct engagement and lobbying with the U.S. Congress, relevant governments and tribal entities, multilateral agencies, and/or businesses focusing on policy, practice, and funding initiatives that provide opportunities and/or impact our conservation, climate, clean energy and community engagement programs.

For more career opportunities and to find a role that suits your life, visit The Hill Job Board.


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