Category Archives: post career

Post Career: The Adjustment

One of the problems with being a human being is that we tend not to see the future very well. Humans are just not good at that. For that reason, we tend to get blind-sided by changes imposed form the outside. Like when we lose a job or have to retire. Ouch!

Indeed, research shows that we tend to be biased in our decision making to “loss aversion”. We value what we have to an irrational degree when we might lose it – even if losing it means finding an even more valuable new opportunity or gain. So we tend to put on the blinders and plod forward with the routines that we have in place.

But times are changing and they are making the old fashioned idea of long term career less the norm. In other words, we should become more used to losing a job and moving on from jobs. How do we do this? One way to get out of your comfort zone is to accept that adjustments don’t just happen. They take time to get used to. Consider this  comment from a recently retired man (from Forbes)

“One day I was a financial planner and the next day I wasn’t,” Jones recalls. “It probably took me five years to really adjust….”

If we anticipate that adjustments are hard, we will be forewarned to make them less painful.

Career and Post Career: How We Make Choices

Neuro Doho makes an interesting point about how he and others choose career paths.

… it’s easy to forget that when people are choosing careers, particularly very early, they have choices. And the options are wiiiiiiiiide open. It takes very, very little to nudge people into one path that leads to one career, and even less to derail them from a path that leads to another.

His main point is that our choices are deeply affected by the people we listen to, both in a positive and negative way.

It may appear that our choices are less wide open later in life. But why is that true? It is true when we choose to make it so. When we commit to paths that allow no deviation. It is not true for any inherent reason.

My point — there is value in keeping options open as you go through career and post career lives. that is at the core of post-career thinking. our choice framework is just opening up.

Post Career: What about the Money?

We live in a time when a lot of people are obsessed with the idea of 2scaling”. They have seen in the media that one can make a huge amount of money by creating widely used digital platforms. And so, naturally, they focus on trying to build widely used digital platforms.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this. And yet … we know that most of these folks will fail. In this sense, our era is a bit like the California gold rush era. Jeff Bezos talks about this in a TED talk

Jeff brings out that during the California gold rush huge numbers of people gave up their jobs and livelihoods in order to go to California to find gold.  Most didn’t find any, but they stayed in California and fundamentally changed the region and America.

The folks who are trying to build scalable digital platforms are also giving up opportunities to do other stuff.  That other stuff is to see and build value more locally. At the end of the day, I suspect that this will dawn on some of these folks and they will shift their focus.

Post Career: Some Data on the trend

These figures from the US are interesting

In 2013, 23 million people were self-employed, according the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s up 1.2 percent from the year before and up about 24 percent from 2003. That number doesn’t count self-employed people who may also hire employees.

As BI reports, the idea of a 9 to 5 job is getting less attractive. We believe that the trend will continue and grow stronger.

Here is the thing. Success in this world requires different ways of thinking and communicating. Are you ready for the challenge?


Post Career: Wilson on Freelancing

One of the driving forces behind the “post career” movement is that work itself is changing. In the old days, it was hard enough to get a job, let alone design a life around getting jobs and projects and building multiple income streams. As Fred Wilson writes, this is changing. Already 3 or 4 out of 10 people in the US call themselves “freelancers”.  Fred ends his post this way

It’s a new era we are living in and the nature of work is changing and changing fast. There are tons of opportunities in and around this trend and we are invested in some of them. It’s one of the big megatrends of this century.

I agree – this is a megatrend. And it will be fun to see how it empowers us all!

Post Career: Saying No to Pensions in Germany

This might surprise you

(Silke) Wommelsdorf is part of a growing trend of 50- and 60-something Germans who are quitting steady jobs to test the uncertain waters of entrepreneurialism. According to Frankfurt-based research institute KFW, one in 10 new start-ups in Germany has a founder over 55 at the helm. This in a country better known for established giants like Bosch and Mercedes than for its entrepreneurial culture.

The trend is real and it is growing. Middle aged and older Germans are thinking more and more about using their knowledge and skills to work for themselves rather than point to retiring on a pension.  USA Today reports.

And this is not just in Germany. It will be a global trend. Here in Tartu, we are preparing a course to help folks start planning for this life style. Interested?

Post Career: Slow is Good

I was posting on the Slow Food Movement and its incarnation in Perugia and a thought hit me. Slow in this context is not about being stupid or lazy. It is about celebrating what is good in life. And that idea has broad application.

here is the point. What is it about work that is most annoying? Most would answer stress from too much to do and the ever attendant risk of failure. BTW, the faster one works, the more likely one is to screw things up and fail. So there is an ever present precariousness about balancing productivity and quality.

What if you did not have to race around so much? What if you were free to focus more on quality? In this environment, you could live much better.

Post career as slow work. Think about it.

Post Career : Managing Your Health

In the old days, folks pretty much expected that their bodies would wear out when they turned 65. That was one reason why they retired. It was only fairly recently that medical research advanced to the point where it became clear that people around that age don’t just wear out. They fall apart when they don’t get enough physical activity.  Ooops!

So the old idea that retirement meant getting more rest was, in effect, a sort of death sentence. Folks in my parent’s generation  understood this and began to exercise more. By and large, they started to live longer and better.

These days, we are more aware of how the body ages and what types of physical effects of aging are countered by exercise. Here are a few, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.