From Retired to Rewired

You are coming to towards the end of your life ‘career’ but do you really need to or want to retire? What about taking some time to collect your thought and look at how you can commercialise and harness your skills amassed over a lifetime, and perhaps discover a whole new you! – rewired you,

As a nation we have become obsessed with the idea of early retirement.  While some may swoon in delight as they swap briefcases for boardshorts, corporate cocktails for cruises and spreadsheets for sprouts, there are others that view it as a rite of passage and can be done at any age and at almost any time. You just ‘gottawanna do it’.

Yet it’s not the 65 year old’s that are doing and thinking like this.  The new retiree, or should we call “Rewiree” is indeed geared for change, collaboration and connection. They range from anywhere between 35– 45 year old and view retiring/rewiring from one career to another as the ‘new normal’. They recognise opportunities and gaps in the market place in a heartbeat and leap onto trends all the whilst piggybacking on the latest technology which is intuitively giving them the tools to create initiatives/jobs/products/services and ultimately exponential growth.

They are a very different breed of thinkers than the stereotypical 60-65 year old who left, or is considering leaving their workplace with usually no more than two career changes in the same profession under their belt.

On the other hand, irrespective of whether or not the new Millennial Rewiree has secured financial freedom, seeded an innovative business others, they are ready to swoop on new opportunities like seagulls on hot chips.

They know they will have at least seven or eight career changes ahead of them and are arguably more impulsive, more future centric first, and less risk averse – sometimes to the detriment of the present. Truth is, both comments can be right. It is worthy to note however that even the most tenacious of retirees a.k.a. life re-imagineers recognise that not all careers or opportunities are perfect. Yet those who are keen to keep an eye on the future  will recognise this a lot earlier, recalibrate  and adjust more quickly than their predecessors. This is largely because they can read trends and measure results more quickly and not necessarily as wedded to the one idea or job being done the one way. They are also less likely to work in a job or career they are unhappy with, which is in their view a total waste of time and energy.

We have to agree though  we have come a long way since many baby boomers bemoaned the fact they felt invisible in conversations in cafes and dinner parties once they stopped working and had a ‘real job’. Many had previously expressed the view they felt others/professionals/business people were no longer as interested in them as when they held an official title.  So what has changed and why are older people happy now to Rewire?

Firstly, they recognise that the way in which they were taught to think and work restricted their results. It inhibited creativity and innovative by creating boundaries in how they worked, behaved and thought about things. Within this framework came their image, brand and how they defined themselves. They were not encouraged to ‘think backwards’ as we are today. They were taught to make decisions and problem solve in a linear fashion and follow the path of least resistance.  Once ridded of those shackles though, baby boomer retiree’s became Rewiree’s – they were open to reinventing themselves and their purpose.

Today people can now legitimately work productively in phenomenal ways at all ages and at all stages – both within and external to a ‘formal’ job. They can thrive quickly due to the new skills, influences and amazing technology that has taught them to be and think more intuitively and with greater entrepreneurial skills than ever before. They are also naturally and unknowingly even rewiring their brain because everything around them has also had to adapt more quickly to keep up with expectations and demands. Given the changes and choices at hand today, most professionals re-imagining their life outside their experience and for the first time in history combining their networks and networth at a fast rate.

Never before has the 65 year old been better placed or skilled to reinvent themselves if they wish. They have been exposed to the brilliance of technology and a new age of thinking which shows that age is not a barrier to entry or exit. The biggest barrier is the mindset that may be stuck in former belief systems of the past.  For example, a successful business person of today who is approaching the end of a long career may have held the traditional belief they will become the ‘feather duster’ once they leave the workplace. However with a different mindset, if they so choose, they can  harness their collective knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits garnered over the years  and create/ co-create new boutique services for people who need time out for personal care, child care or elder care. They will have the confidence, capability and courage to bring to market a unique service that has not been offered in the past.

It is interesting to note that only a few years ago Westpac conducted a survey on who is considered the older Australian in the workplace. It concluded that it was anyone of or over 47 years of age.  Shock! Horror! Awe! Well if that’s the case, most of us may be thinking we should have bailed years ago.

But the truth many people at that age were getting to be their best and with more experience, more opportunities, more growth got even better. So why would they want to retire and go to pasture?

People should only be retiring from careers that inhibit their potential or stop them from innovating.

On the other hand if people want to rewire their activity they can be as productive, innovative or relaxed about it as they wish.

It’s a great time to rewire and reimagine. It’s your choice what you do and how you do it.

What matters most is you just ‘gottawanna’.


From Retired to Rewired article published page 140, Life Begins At, Winter 2019 Edition. 

Click here to view Life Begins At, Winter Edition