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Strategies to help extend your working life

Extending working lifeArticle by Fabafterfifty

Lifelong learning and employability is so important , especially for women in their fifties confronted with the increase in pension age. You can help maintain your employability by taking every opportunity for learning and varying your work experience. Whether you intend to work for yourself, find a new job or remain in the same role, keep your skills up to date and keep abreast of the latest techniques and thinking.
You may need to know about computer software associated with your present or future job or new technologies. Research shows that older workers are just as capable as younger workers are of learning, although they may need more time with IT training.
If you are lucky, your employer may provide courses or learning opportunities specifically to encourage you to keep on learning. For example, Guernsey Post, the postal servicescompany, has a two day retirement training programme covering the usual areas such as tax, pensions, well-being and benefits, and managing finances; but it also covers working beyond retirement. Such programmes can be valuable as you plan your future, either remaining with your current employer or moving on into something new. Some employers may support your learning financially, but you should be willing to pay for training that will develop your personal resources if this is the only way and providing you can afford it. Learning may be expensive but ignorance can cost a great deal more and it is you personally who will often pay the bill for such neglect. If you can contribute to learning as a project leader or mentor, this will help you to define a new role and demonstrate the added value you bring to the organisation. Using opportunities in this way can be good for you as well as good for your employer.

 Health and well-being issues

Looking after your health is important. Staying fit will help give you options and create a better impression if you are ever looking for work. Of course, this is a personal matter but if you are lucky enough to have an employer who encourages health promoting activity, you should take advantage of anything on offer.
An approach to healthy living integrated into your working life can help you reach your 60s physically and mentally fit for working longer. Whether you are in your 40s, 50s, 60s or older, keeping fit, dropping unhealthy habits and having a good balance of work and rest will make you feel better and more able do your job well.

But at a time when many people in work are under stress and pressure, activities which relieve stress and keep you in better shape are a good investment. As you get older this will become more important rather than less so. Whether you swim, run, play tennis or any other exercise or sport, keeping going in later life is the thing to do.

Excerpt taken from a joint TAEN and Saga report


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