It’s a saying I’ve heard about a million times since my school days. It applies to everything, what subjects I did during high school, to what degree I chose to do at University, even stretching to whether or not I should take a gap year at the end of my high school education. Before making any of these decisions I would be approached by well-meaning family, friends, teachers and sometimes obscure acquaintances and told ‘make sure you choose right, because the way its going, you’ll be working into your hundreds’.
I used to think that saying was a bit of a cop-out. I mean, working until I’m 100? Definitely not. I find it hard to believe that I’ll even make it to my 90’s (although there’s a fairly high chance of that, Blackie’s seem to have a streak of longevity. Grandpa Jim is 97 this year and still kicking)
But that saying always struck me as a little odd. If I am to be working well into my senior years then why rush to pigeon-hole myself a specific career now. Surely, this is the time where I should be experiencing many different work situations in as many different fields as possible.
It is highly likely that my generation will have to work well past the current retirement age of 65, due to the factors of increasing longevity, the aging population and diminishing funds in the pension coffers. Add to that the politician’s desire to see us all working hard to support their lifestyles and you have a recipe for long term engagement at the coal face.
However, this in no way mean that everyone will be stuck in the same dead-end jobs for their entire (extended) lifetimes, I believe that we should see this as an opportunity. Which other generations have had the chance to tryout numerous different careers and not worry about their super or future job security? When you have your whole life to work and your life is getting longer, then why not do all there is to do? Try anything that takes your fancy and keep working until you find the thing that fulfils you the most.
Originally posted to Black-Watch, March 3rd, 2014