India is a country of young people. Every year, 10-12 million people are joining the labour pool. Hence for an organisation looking to grow, there is a constant supply of talent. Over time, people grow; they are ambitious and itching to move into the next higher role. Sometimes, companies do not want to risk losing experienced hands to their competition and end up promoting people into senior roles before they are fully ready. They tend to save some cost in salaries and create a runway for the growth of the newly promoted person. This, in turn, puts pressure on the people in senior roles to either grow into bigger roles if available within the organisation or end up as redundant. What can we do in planning our careers beyond 50?
How is life beyond 50?
When someone is 50 years old or above, one has to recognise the rise and significance of the next generation at home and the younger folks at work. The new breed is hungry for action and looking to claim its own space, shape its destiny and craft its future. This is inevitable; in fact, must be relished with a sense of satisfaction and pleasure. The older have to cede the space and welcome them warmly into the domain of action rather than looking at them as a threat. The older people have to let go and craft their path rather than ruing over ceding the territory to someone else.
The older folks have to look at a longer horizon of spiritual liberation, indulge in practices that take care of their physical and mental well-being over the next decade and beyond. They need to think about their ambitions in the decade ahead. They have to discover the new anchors for their lives over the next two decades.
What are the possible new anchors?
Firstly, the new coordinates have to be found within oneself, one’s inner voice. One might have to find new career opportunities, seek advancements in work life, explore hobbies and passion, pursue personal goals related to wealth, health or any other specific goalposts for self-actualisation. It is alright to flow with the stream in one’s 30’s and 40’s, achieve successes and reach milestones. However, in life beyond 50, one has to be clearer about this inner voice and act accordingly.
Many a time, we do not focus on listening to the inner voice, nurturing it and letting the voice grow clearer and louder. Some of us simply do not have the determination and the courage to listen to the inner voice. And even after hearing it, many of us do not act on it with perseverance and discipline. This is the first anchor we need to get right.
The second anchor which supports the first in a very significant way is the family, friends and work. We have to draw support from them in fulfilling our ambitions and at the same time, support them in their ambitions. In life after 50, there are many transitions, right from home to workplace: the younger folks get into the domain of mainstream work and responsibilities shouldered until then by the older folks. We need to slowly move out of them and stride into the domain of influencing.
We have to be patient as we see the results we desire are not being achieved, the path itself visualised by us is being deviated. Maybe, there is a new path and a new destination that the young folks are visioning for themselves. Our thinking will become obsolescent at some point in time and hence, we have to make peace with it. This anchor of friends, family and work remain strong for us in life after 50 if we stay curious and are willing to adapt as much as we try influencing others.
Time to work with the Society
Irrespective of one’s age, working for society is always welcome and the duty of all social beings. And one does not need to be a social worker by profession to be able to start contributing at the age of 50 years or above. Social media is an important platform to leverage: one can share knowledge, perspectives and insights with others, learn from others and participate in discussions to influence thinking of the others. There are innumerable ways of working on the ground for the benefit of the people in our society who need help. It does not have to be necessarily in the domain of working for the underprivileged. There are many possibilities of making a positive difference to the way people around us live and grow, our environment stays safe and secure for posterity and the ecosystem stays balanced. We have to be a student for the life, contribute and empower others to make our lives worthwhile.