Tim Drake writes about about how you can keep earning in retirement …
Earning money gives you an opportunity to re-think a lot of things.
But first of all it’s worth deciding what sort of things you want to do to earn
some money. Where, and with whom, you want to work. And how often.
The two places to start (assuming you haven’t been offered earning
opportunities already) are firstly, what turns you on as the sort of work you
would like to do, and secondly what is your social capital to build on?
Let’s take social capital first. Your social capital is the value you have created
from the network of friendships and positive relationships you have built up in
all aspects of your life over the years. This social capital needs nurturing. In
the words of Dr Johnson, “Friendships should be kept in a state of constant
Work vs A Job
Remember, earning is about getting an income from work, not necessarily a
job. A job CV, in the words of Seth Godin (do sign up for his daily blog, by the
way), is just proof of a history of compliance. It demonstrates you turned up
on time, and did what you were told. The reverse of the autonomy you are
looking for now.
So work is something you are in control of – not what controls you. It could be
from working – full or part time – in an organisation you have always wanted to
work in. A charity, a not-for-profit, an area of work quite new to you – even a
start up with a friend or colleague. The key attributes you can bring to any
work are creativity and adaptability.
Earning in Retirement
It may be scary at first. But it’s fresh, challenging and may even be worthwhile
and fulfilling. And you’ll retain autonomy, because it will be your choice. Not
only is it your choice, you are in control because your experience, insight
and skills will make you a linchpin in your place of work.
Yes, you become a linchpin by creating value. You are the go-to person in
the organisation for when experience and insight are needed. Obviously your
skills and experience are crucial, but the great added value that members of
Generation Cherry can deliver is the ability to create distinctive social as well as economic value within the organisation he or she is working with.
Crucial Life Skills
Providing humour and humanity when pressure induces stress.
Bringing enthusiasm to a project that is running out of steam.
Providing resilience and positivity when things get difficult.
Having integrity when people are tempted.
These are crucial life skills. They are also skills that well-rounded younger
people can contribute. The difference – and it is an important difference – is
that if you have developed a strong sense of autonomy, you are in control.
You will have a well-grounded sense of self worth, are plugged in, and
ultimately are a person with recognisable integrity. And people can smell
integrity. Integrity is the clincher for linchpins.
Adopting a mindset of autonomy shifts your overall mindset. It gives you an
independence, confidence and authority that, coupled with business and life
experience, takes you a considerable way to becoming a key player in any
organisation. In Seth Godin’s words, a linchpin.
The Gig Economy
So, the gig economy … where does it fit in?
I’d argue that while most of us on skinny or non-existent pensions need some
form of additional money, there are many who will actually need a new
core income, and should find that in doing something they really want to
The approach above shows an effective way to take on the challenge – and
benefit from it. The gig economy can be a great add-on tool. But I would argue its
intrinsically flexible nature means it’s not reliable or lucrative enough to pay
More on the gig economy next time.