Most of us think that we are way to young to retire even if we are that age. Life’s like that.If you are newly graduated, it seems like an eon away. I’m thinking about retirement because our Manager of Careers and Employment, Liz Medford did in fact do just that after 31 years of growing our service from a one-person ‘seed’ to the multi-faceted team we are today! No wait – Liz wasn’t alone! She also had a trusty Gestetner in the corner of the room (that she was quick to get rid of in favour of a photocopier and probably, ever the early adopter, a COMPUTER!). Then one by one, a Careers and Employment team came on board. Liz used the term “rewirement” or that she is “rewiring” instead of retirement, which is a much more satisfactory term for someone that can Zumba most people for dead and looked a million dollars after a long day at the careers and employment coalface.
So why think about retirement if you are just starting out or returning to the workforce? Surely that’s years away? Well yes, for many of you, but the concept of ‘rewiring’ can crop up at any stage of our work/life journey. We may have to totally reinvent ourselves a number of times over in our careers and that process can be a lot easier if you plan ahead to weather the storm and enjoy the new you. I can think of about five times a major shift happened in my career: getting a big break, parenthood, life-threatening illness, organisational restructuring, trying a totally new field and failure all meant having to snap out of the person I was and get on that massive learning curve again.
Just to mix metaphors, when you are in the process of rewiring, spokes on your Wheel of Life will move in and out from the hub (you). You may earn more, you may have no income, you may suddenly have no time or bags of time. How can you be in the best position to ‘rewire’, whatever stage of the career continuum you are? Start by doing the Wheel of Life exercise and see if you can come up with a list of ways you are going to get your wheel to be as evenly round as possible. This may help you be ready for a big shift as your wheel will turn rather than be stuck!
From all these years of working with career development experts such as Liz, I have gleaned a few tips on how to get ready for major life-changes at any age or stage:
Financial. Start saving for life changes now. You need lots of money for retirement. It’s hard though, as there are so many competing pressures. I know that it’s not all avocados on toast and lattes for students these days, but if there is any way you can squirrel money away – do. Sitting down with a financial adviser Sorted and our wonderful student finance advisers here at Vic have some great tools to help you make decisions and budget.
Self-management. If you have just experienced a massive change, get a routine established as soon as possible. Get up at the same time you would have before. Also hang on to important rituals and create some new ones. Try the idea of 10 Delicious Daily habits. No – not pernicious habits – delicious ones, where self care and carefully introducing rewarding change is the name of the game.
Planning. Not so much the daily to-do lists, although they are important. It’s more the high level thinking about core values, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), to come up with a set of principles and, from this, goals and objectives.
Support. Surround yourself with people and enjoy your own company too. Take time out on your own just to appreciate living but also to connect with the “must-do-lunch-sometime” people in your life. It may open the door to a new opportunity. Don’t forget there is a plethora of agencies out there to help you at the life stage you are at, including Careers and Employment if you are a Victoria student or graduate.
Noho ora mai, Liz. I know you’ll kick it as a Rewirement Lifestyle Consultant.