Archive for June, 2011

Turning 50: Designing Your Third Age

June 2, 2011

What is your non-negotiable? Turning 50 for anyone presents an opportunity to take a long view of the previous decades. How have we spent our time and what have we accomplished? The fifth decade positions us for contemplating what could be different as we enter the third stage of our lives. Following is a story of how one working mother resolved her career and life transition needs.

I have had the pleasure of working with M when she was unemployed. Previously employed 5 days a week, she really yearned for a 3 day work week, but realized that wish would have to yield to a 4 day work week. She is a busy and well organized single mother of four and she realized that not working on Friday would allow her to have that breathing space she needed without compromising her work responsibilities. Our conversations helped her realize that a four day work week is a non-negotiable. M created her list of prioritized criteria for her next employment situation. She is an accountant by training and has used her tenacity for detail along with her superb planning and people skills to enlarge her work role opportunities and responsibilities.

She had recently interviewed with a non-profit organization whose purpose and mission is something she would be proud to support. The work responsibilities and her work experience provided the perfect fit senior management was looking for. The four day work week requirement was requested with the reassurance that she would be available for unusual circumstances. M had prepared many anecdotal stories reflecting her ability to deftly manage work responsibilities and meet performance goals. This non-profit maintained their 5 day work requirement and M maintained her non-negotiable 4 day work requirement. M was their first choice, they hired their second choice and that person did not last the year.

Shortly after, another company in a different industry had an opening that M interviewed for. M is pleased to report that her 4 day work week is in place; She doesn’t miss a beat and her performance and results are in place. M’s current company provides Blackberry’s for their senior level staff and M is able to manage whatever comes up on her Friday off including conference calls.

M is a planner with security and stability driving her financial decisions. M’s ability to maintain her non-negotiable criteria is due to her planning diligence for her future work/life. She is currently working towards obtaining her Financial Planning certification to enable others to achieve their third age aspirations. She is prepared, confident and resourceful.