50 Somethings, Second Wind

crows

A friend and I found ourselves in our 50’s, single, working more than one job each, respected in our professions, and wondering how we were going to retire.  It became blatantly obvious that although we do use technology, increasing our skill levels had to happen.

 The Happiest 50 Somethings, the Busiest by Choice

Judith and I have decided to pool our resources – financial, intellectual, ethical, and professional – to start a business together, and enhance our lifestyle.  We have many role models:

  • Consultants who hone their skills, then sell those skills to high paying employers.
  • Retirees who have the will and drive to make a difference locally, volunteering or for extra income.
  • Part time employees, who seek a balance of needed income and meaningful projects.

Striking out on our own feels like a natural progression by optimizing our professional skills.

The Psychological Wall

Our combined experiences, along with a continuing enthusiasm for work, and a wealth of information at our fingertips make this all seem possible.  Being more flexible with where we work – at home or traipsing around the world – appeals greatly.  This ability to work from home means that one stream of income will be 100% digital and the other two streams will rely on social media to draw clients.

This is where the 50-somethings can easily hit a wall.  It seems that we have spent a lifetime mastering skills that soon become antiquated.  After a while, we both started waiting out the technology until we really couldn’t wait much longer.  This way, we got to skip a couple of generations and not clog up the minds with soon-to-be-useless technology.  Take the phone, for example.  The smartphone – iphone came on the market and we gave it all a pass while they worked out the bugs as our own flip phones were working just fine.  When they died, we bought second hand iPhones and didn’t bother with data. Until we needed it.

parents-and-kids

 

Now that the businesses are starting, we have to figure out social media beyond the platforms we already use for work and family. All I can say is thank God we have 20-somethings who come to dinner and do their laundry.  Apparently, we bred some resources.

 

Enquiring minds want to know…

If you are a 50 something…

Have you deliberately taken your career on a different route? Or are you thinking about a change?

Have you embraced the digital world because you want to steer your career or are you already immersed in social media and figure, “what the heck, I might as well see if I can parlay this into a side income”?

If you are a younger professional…

What do you admire in “experienced” professionals?

What drives you nuts about your elders online? (Kinda glad my daughters aren’t commenting on this blog.)

 

Readings

Sixty and Me

Forbes

 

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6 thoughts on “50 Somethings, Second Wind

  1. Hello Pamela. Thanks for the fun post. I chuckled, I mean, LOL ;-), at “Apparently, we bred some resources. Unlike you, I didn’t bred resources, but am luckily surrounded by digital natives at work and take the opportunity to be a technology sponge whenever possible. Most of the time I consider myself fortune to have straddled a relatively low tech upbringing and an ever-increasing digital world. I feel it has given me, and perhaps many of us over 50 a helpful perspective on the quality of our lives in relation to emerging technologies and digital products. It does, I admit, make me slower to adapt to new technologies, and a bit cynical at times about the frequency and nature of how we share ourselves with the world, but all in all, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this. It’s a pretty amazing time to be on this earth. I am studying digital media and online business in the hopes of parlaying my newfound knowledge and skills into a side business that I can sustain while being nomadic. I love traveling and am trying to figure out how to support the habit as I move into retirement. Best of luck to you in your endeavors.

    • Thanks Bloke (guessing you are travelling or from the British Isles)! Watching the world change has been exciting, hasn’t it! I remember my Dad bringing home a really expensive gadget. It added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided — and didn’t plug into the wall.

  2. What I admire most in an older professional is their knowledge. They remember all sorts of cool stuff, and can often explain why things are the way they are. Serious bonus points for older people who realize that the world has changed, and recognize the professional need to keep up (to those who can’t be bothered with tech personally, I am envious!). Regardless of age I really appreciate a respectful approach to collaboration. Everyone has something to contribute, and it is very sad when they do not get the chance.

    • Collaboration is definitely a major key to success. Our society is made up of all ages, so projects that have input from people at different stages in life will be stronger. I have long conversations with my daughter about my projects — makes my life so much easier. 😉

  3. Well did this post ever resonate with me. I’m 51 and was just laid off from a job I loved and here I sit wondering what I’m going to be when I grow up since clearly what I was just ain’t happening anymore. I have considered reinvention – striking out on my own as a freelance writer or consultant. I even dreamed big one day and thought about getting my own cooking show and cookbook series. My dream so I can go as big as I want, right?? I’m already using social media and doing so is part of my profession (marketing and corporate communications). If I could parlay my love of social media into its own career or lucrative sideline though, I’d be one very happy and loquacious bunny!

    • I wonder if it is easier in most cases to realize our dreams in our 50’s because life has given us skills and a heavy dose of realism. Good luck with your project!

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