Is It Ever Too Late For Your Next WorkLife Chapter?

Well, No, I Don’t Think So, And Recently, I Began Work With John, Who Is 64, And Wanted to Consider His Next WorkLife Move

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash

John’s career began in the forces where he was an engineer before moving into production management in the computer industry. From there, he moved into design and manufacturing in the telecoms industry, then on to operations director in the pharmaceutical industry before moving into consultancy work in the tobacco industry.

His work took him all over the world, and along the way, he undertook various pieces of research and development and also worked closely with HR departments delivering training and development.

Then he decided to retire and move to the South of France, but a few months and many gastronomic delights later, John was beginning to become a little bored and wondered if he had retired just a little too early.

Not one to sit on his laurels, he undertook a building development project which led to another and before he knew it, he was sourcing French properties for folks back in the UK and project managing the development work.

So as you can appreciate, John is a man of many talents. When we began our work together, he wanted to figure out what he wanted to do that would fit into semi-retirement — keep him mentally stimulated but also give him the scope to do nothing if he chose to. Nothing other than developing his appreciation for fine wines, fine food and fine art, that is, oh and learning to speak French and playing boules.

This was no ordinary job search campaign, and we soon agreed his best plan of campaign was to connect with people he’d met throughout his career, just by way of catching up for a coffee or beer and having a chat about things in general.

Well, no sooner did he do this than when an opportunity arose for him to deliver some very specialist consultancy training work, whereby he was training the Consultancy Firm’s consultants for this specific field-based work.

He’s now established himself as the person they come to when they bring new consultants on board, and he’s also been asked to be a Non-Executive Director supporting the development of talent with a commitment of one day a month over ten months of the year.

Un coup de chance? (a stroke of good luck?) — Maybe a little luck, but I’ve come to learn the better we are, the luckier we become! And John is top of the game in terms of being good.

So, it’s never too late to begin the next chapter of your WorkLife, and a lot of employers will value the wealth of skills and experience you will bring to the organisation.

I first shared this story some years ago on my original, now-defunct blog: Evolving Careers. I’m sharing it again because I believe it’s as relevant today, and it was all those years ago.

The stories I write are based on real WorkLife challenges, obstacles and successes. In some stories, I share my own experiences, and with permission, stories of people I’ve worked with, whose names have been changed to protect their anonymity. Other persons and companies portrayed in the stories are not based on real people or entities.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.