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The Pass It On Playbook
Facing the Economic Challenge
In this time when economic uncertainty is spreading around the globe, the concern expressed most frequently by Pass It On Network subscribers is economic security. Even retirees with adequate government pensions now worry about whether the pensions will last. Most of us need to supplement pensions with savings to cover expenses. As I have seen the value of my investments going down, I realize that my savings are unlikely to last as long as I do.
Many of us approaching or past the age of retirement are facing the need to find meaningful work that generates income. Ageism in the workplace, however, is a major obstacle to continuing traditional employment in later life. Older workers are the first to be laid off when employers are cutting jobs, and are passed over for job openings.
Employers focused on cutting costs are cutting full-time employees when the work that needs to be done doesn’t require full-time attention. Now, half of the workers in the U.S. are earning income from contract employment other than traditional full-time jobs with benefits. They are working as seasonal or temporary or part-time workers, or independent contractors – usually without benefits.
The 21st Century Opportunity
The good news is that these shifts in the labor market have opened up opportunities for experienced workers who are creative and entrepreneurial. New ways of working have given older workers the flexibility to take charge of the work schedule, work environment, and work focus. Experienced workers of any age who use current technologies should be able to match their interests and skills to opportunities for meaningful paid work.
But it’s lonely out there for those of us seeking income whose work experience was generated in the 20th century. We need guidance from the real-life stories of people who have overcome obstacles and pursued new ways of working in a changed workplace and a changed stage of life. We need a Playbook!
We need a 21st Century Playbook!
In sports, at work, on stage or in any number of work situations, a “Playbook” describes strategies to follow in order to reach new goals. A few years ago, a workforce expert named Carleen MacKay, initiated The Playbook Series* of workforce strategies for the 21st century. The first one was developed with real-life stories from mature workers in southern California, and the second with young adult role models for adolescents in northern California.
In 2014, as fellow members of the U.S. Life Planning Network, Carleen, Dorian Mintzer, life coach and founder of Boomers and Beyond and Revolutionize Retirement, and I published an online Playbook titled, “Second Half Plays for Boomers and Beyond.” The collection of 22 real-life stories describes a wide variety of routes that people in “midlife and beyond” have followed to overcome obstacles, connect their skills and interests, and find or create meaningful, income-generating work.
After Carleen heard me describe the basic “We are the ones!” ethic of the Pass it on Network and the economic anxiety of Pass It On subscribers, she said, “You need a Pass it on Playbook”. Absolutely! Let’s do it!
Here’s our challenge!
Our task is to collect real-life stories that will inspire others who need to get ready for new work in a new time.
- Have you faced financial stress and then learned to shift direction and work later in life?
- Have you pursued an unrealized dream or been inspired to work for the good of others?
- Have you explored new possibilities for meaningful work — for free or a fee, part-time, full-time, or some-of-the-time?
- Do you have friends or colleagues who can serve as role models for us?
Please contribute a brief real-life story that responds to the following five questions:
- What and where was the situation?
- What were the storyteller’s work-related goals?
- What actions did the storyteller take to achieve the goals?
- What were the consequences of these actions? How did the story end?
- What is the most valuable lesson from this experience?
The stories in the “Second Half Plays for Boomers and Beyond” Playbook run from 350 to 1,000 words in length. Most are in the 700 – 800 word range. Each author’s story will be published in English. As a former professional editor, I believe that every written piece needs editing — but will not be “published” without the storyteller’s consent for the edits. We will ask the storyteller to send in a photo or other illustration after the written piece has been agreed upon.
The short-term goal is to produce a “Pass It On Playbook.” The long-term goal is positive aging. As Carleen puts it, “The goal is to help ourselves and each other ‘to live and work happily ever after.’”
We will publish the “Pass It On Playbook” on our website, www.passitonnetwork.org.
Please send your story to me, email@example.com – the sooner the better!
*The Playbook Series of workforce strategies for the 21st century!