Future Friday: Older workers switching to “anticipatory careers”

by Michael Haberman on May 26, 2017 · 0 comments


Older workers eschewing retirement because they want to stay working.

If you thought your older workers are going to go silently into retirement you need to be rethinking that. According to writer Richard Eisenberg workers over 50 are going to have multiple options that will keep them in play for many years after what would be the normal retirement age.

Anticipatory careering

One option that will be available is called anticipatory careering. Eisenberg reports that futurists  Katherine L.Y. Green, of Green Consulting Group, and John Mahaffie and Jennifer Jarratt, founders of Leading Futurists consider this to be “…being mindful about if, how and when your skills might become obsolete; anticipating emerging jobs and careers you can transition into; and using your time, money and energy to create a balanced working life that spans age 18 to 80.” They predict that older workers will have multiple options and employers will have multiple ways to use them as workers.

These ways include:

  • The much touted “gig” options of working independently. This will be especially attractive to workers who are using Medicare as the healthcare and subsequently don’t have to be connected to an employer’s healthcare plan.
  • Because employers will need these older workers they will flex their muscles and require employers to adapt to their schedules and ways of working.
  • Employers will work with employees to decide what might be good “encore” careers for them, often defining new jobs both within the company and outside the company.
  • Older workers will be looking to combine paid work with volunteer work, and there is an anticipation of an abundance of volunteers for the next 10 years or so.

Support for older workers

Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt also anticipate that there will be new organization to provide support for older workers. AARP will not be the only organization dealing with the over-50 crowd. New types of “unions”, organizations and alumni groups will develop to help provide career help. They will also provide support and advocacy for older workers. This will most likely include legal help to fight those organizations still engaging in age discrimination, so beware.

A downside

Lawrence R. Samuel, author of Aging in America, anticipates what can only be described a reversal to current practice. Today, with few exceptions, you cannot force people into retirement. Samuel, according to Eisenberg, anticipates that we may see a day with retirement is legally mandated at age 80 in order to make way for younger workers. We used to do that at age 65.

Adjustments necessary

Older workers will have to be prepared to make adjustments. The days of making more money each year will be gone. That can be a difficult adjustment for workers who have not done any financial planning. It may also mean adjusting to no longer being the boss for some.

Workers over the age of 65 are going to be 32% of the working population by the year 2022, a mere 5 years from now. Are you going to be prepared for that?


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