The 100 Year Life
For every decade that passes, life expectancy increases by two years. A child born today can expect to live to over 100 years old. Not only will our lives get longer but our working lives will need to get longer. Traditional forms of retirement funding, such as pay-as-you-go state funding or final salary pensions, are reducing or disappearing. Funding models are being replaced by schemes which rely more heavily on the individual to fund, invest and monitor. The overwhelming likelihood is that these newer schemes will not be able to fund longer periods of retirement. Whilst the Baby Boomer generation are largely unaffected, Generation X, the Millennials and Generation Z are all going to face severe funding challenges. The only pragmatic solution will be to contribute to the workforce for longer. And this will mean not just multiple job moves and also greater career transition, as the skills/value equation changes over time and individuals seek new ways to bring value to the marketplace.
We don't love our work
The second challenge is concerned with the matter of engagement in the workplace. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace research, less than 20% of us are actively engaged in our work. The remaining 80% are either ambivalent or actively disengaged. Either way, the impact upon productivity, profits and, ultimately, GDP are gargantuan. To say that lack of engagement in the workplace is an epidemic is an understatement.
Happy work is sustainable work
It’s our belief that addressing the problem of engagement can help to fix the problems of an ageing population. If people are to work for longer their work must be sustainable. Increasingly we will demand higher degrees of job fulfilment, autonomy and flexibility. The ability to transition between roles and careers will need to become commonplace. But before this can happen we need to dismantle the existing models. We need to break prejudices. We need to find new ways to learn, to train, to recruit, to develop, to work and retire. The system hardwiring that tells us that we learn-work-retire needs to re-routed to offer flexibility. The reward will be higher productivity and less burden on the welfare system.
The challenge of change
Find employers that will look for your strengths as well as qualifications
Successful career changes can mean months or even years in the planning
Work experience, training, qualification, and apprenticeships, accessible to all ages at all stages of life
The biggest perceived barrier of all, but one which can be overcome with careful planning and expert guidance