In the UK there are 32,000 people who are in their 80s and are still hard at work, a figure that has increased by more than half in the past 10 years. Just over one million people are still working past the age of 65, and 324,000 of those are 70 and over.
Not everyone wants to fill their twilight years with Bingo and bowls.
Extending the working life of staff helps to fill skill shortages and knowledge drain. The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development estimates that there will be nearly two vacancies created for each school or college leaver over the next 10 years. No one sector will be able to fill this deficit. Allowing the Baby Boomer generation to phase out their retirement through flexible working options is imperative to help keep this widening skills gap under control and the country’s pension system in balance. If everyone worked for an extra year, it would add 1% to national income, according to government estimates.
Flexible working practices are imperative for this generation, just as they are for the women returning to work after raising their families. Flexiworkforce.com is being developed as the destination site for both these groups as well as Gen Y portfolio careerists and the senior executives who can do their jobs ‘Standing on their Heads’.
The traditional one-company career ladder—that steady tick-tock of promotions leading to retirement with a pension and gold watch—has lost most of its rungs. Generation Y is carving their own path to help strengthen their overall economic security by becoming a “Portfolio careerist”. These individuals bring in money from multiple sources—not just one full-time job. Their Incomes are linked to part-time jobs, contract and freelance work, and/or a personal business. Even if they do have a full-time occupation, portfolio careerists actively pursue outside interests designed to not only make money, but also satisfy their creative and enterprising sides.
Starting and running a small business is not uncommon for these typical portfolio careerists. These people have the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ at their heart and crave variety. They like the idea of having four or five different income streams as a way to safeguard their overall prosperity. Running your own business can easily be part of a larger career portfolio.
Are these people inspiring or just scared of a good hard days work and so they wrap it up in a pretty title? I think they are forward thinking and don’t like the idea of settling. They are not afraid of taking risks in an effort to see what else is out their. These people could teach more of us about how to achieve a good work/life balance to test out all of our skill sets and to follow multiple passions for personal growth and fulfillment.
In the 1970’s career women struggled to maintain their image in the workplace as they were being discriminated against – as The Pregnancy Discrimination Act wasn’t passed until 1978. While women entered the workforce in droves during this time, they were in no way treated equally to men in pay, the positions they held or their ability to climb the corporate ladder.
In the 1990’s through the 2000’s we saw a huge change to this as the amount of career women in the workplace had increased rapidly. An example of this would be that in 2009, 43% of women were lawyers which is a huge amount in comparison to the 4% of women lawyers in the 1970’s. Women being more established within the workplace have given them the chance to take extended career breaks.
The problem we now face is helping women return to work at a steady place to help make them feel comfortable, not overwhelmed. We aim to help women returners with the use of flexible working.