On 31st August I had been to a local bank and I could guess it was lunch time as there was hardly any customer and very few bank officials.
I was about to sit in one of the chairs there to wait till lunch time was over, when the bank representative in the corner counter offered to assist. Mentally I appreciated his customer centric attitude and glad as he saved my wait time
I felt guilty as this kind employee had to delay his lunch for my transaction. Just to be sure I do not repeat this mistake in future I asked him for exact lunch timing in this branch. He explained they deliberately keep one counter open and they have an understanding amongst themselves to go for lunch one by one. I felt less guilty now.
This person at the counter was in his late fifties. I always found him engrossed in his work, never chatting with colleagues or on phone. A customer before me asked him something to which he responded, “Today”
Something about the way he responded made me guess the question. When the customer before me was done with his transaction and it was my turn, I just asked the official at the counter,
“Are you retiring soon?”
37 years of dedicated service. I tried to imagine what must be going on in his mind – mixed feelings, apprehensions, relief, insecurities, lifestyle changes, financial adjustments – I think I can never second guess as I am not in his position, with his liabilities, his conditioning and his experience.
I have been coaching people to build online income / alternative income streams/ establish side hustle, for quite some time now. I never wished more, than that moment, if I could do something more structured for this age group, who had their identity associated with their jobs, their entire existence tied to their workplace and do not quite know what else to do.
I can challenge, if this person had created some income funnels online or at least made efforts to brand himself online two years before his retirement, he would be more eager about his second innings and looking forward to his last day in the bank must more positively.
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Just one day later, another person I knew for decades called me wanting to know about what I do now a days because she knew I had retired from corporate a few years back.
She was upfront about why she called me. She was keen to work from home too. She was associated with a Government job and had recently taken voluntary retirement, 3 years before her official retirement age. Without probing any further, I just asked her to attend a plan session where I explain the different opportunities available - at no cost - post which she can take a call.
The same week another friend who was happy with her job, though stressful and was excited about her side venture that she had recently launched in textiles called for the very same reason - online opportunities. This person is years away from official retirement age however seriously exploring early retirement to play second innings equally well to her entire satisfaction.
The point I am trying to make based on these cases is - it is high time people understand that multiple careers, multiple income streams, side hustles is the new norm.
If you are happy to be doing what you are doing, find a way to do the same thing in your silver years as well, when you may not have the cubicle but will still have the wisdom and creativity to cater to a very large growing market eager to use your skills and services.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to brand your online presence beyond a job - for who you are, who you can become and who you want to be.
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