“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy may have quoted this many decades ago, but don't you think it's still relevant today? More often than not, we sit on our comfortable chairs and talk about how we could have done something differently or better than someone else. Or how 'if only' we had got an opportunity, we could have completely changed the face of something. When we do this, we're fooling only ourselves. The idea of actual change can be overwhelming, and so we compensate in different ways. But change doesn't have to be hard...if you break it down into smaller steps, and focus on doing one thing each day towards a larger goal, you'll surprise yourself about how much you're capable of change...no matter what your age!
I hope to see the Unfold Second Innings community start living actively, to plan for and welcome change into your lives!
Coping With Change
There are no alternatives to the aging process; therefore, the only way to cope with change is to be willing to take a chance on changing our attitude toward many things. Security lies in our own strength. If we are willing to break out of comfortable modes, we will find that engagement with other people makes our lives easier. We are all part of a volatile universe, and the only feasible way to cope with change is to take an active part in the life around us. (Read the full article on Huffpost)
We asked Unfold Second Innings Community members what change meant to them...here's some of the insightful responses:
I think we struggle to cope with change because we, as humans, seek comfort in the status quo and fail to see the opportunities that change can bring in. We are too attached to what was. The easiest way to cope is to first accept the change and move out of denial.
- Pratibha Pal
If change is inevitable then there is very little that the human mind and human heart cannot endure. It is ultimately not the body but the heart/mind that moulds itself to change. The body can simply be bent to our will if only we compel it strongly enough to do so.
- Squadron Leader Delshad Master (Retd.)
Click here to read the article
Retirement is a natural process. It’s a phase that allows us to do all that we love to do, where we think about ourselves and family, rather than thinking about many others – which we did for most of our life.
In the ‘employed’ status, we earn, spend, save and carry on till around 45 years, when we tend to branch off into an early retirement due to burn-out or we get into some business plans. But whatever be the reason or the age, we can find ourselves not knowing what we would do in the post-employment stage.
This transition can have issues, such as:
- Psychological: When I was a senior manager, people looked up to me. Now, I feel I have to justify my views! I’ve had to move from ‘deciding mode’ to ‘recommending mode’. Earlier, I knew so much about so many things, but now I feel lost.
- Society/Environment: Now I’m home more often, assisting my spouse, being involved in the building complex’s affairs. Neighbours are curious as to whether I retired/quit/was asked to quit and enquire about the state of my financial savings.
- Behavioural: Our approach to people, situations, day-to-day problems, views, etc. – all change. We get into conflicts easily due to some level of irritation and it can have an impact on health.
- Knowledge/Wisdom deployment: Gathered over decades, this suddenly seems inadequate. We find that many people have this same knowledge nowadays as business agility makes executives much more aware and capable.
- Financial: A reduced revenue stream (through consulting and other assignments, or pension, can mean compromises in lifestyle, and some of us have a fear of changing our way of living.
The initial phase is difficult, starting with the question “Where do I go in the morning, tomorrow?” as there is no office to go to. When people switch off from an active employment, they either plan out hobbies which they would like to pursue OR they look for consulting options wherein one is required to share the knowledge and wisdom to guide the client in their businesses.
My suggestions for a smoother transition:
First realize that after a particular time, you have to stop working, the way you used to. You would not have the same energy, knowledge and wisdom levels. It’s part of nature to cut off. You may want to find avenues to deal with your feelings around retirement and here are some ways to do this:
- Keep learning: Participate in programs of skill upgrades, social causes, public speaking and others.
- Share your knowledge: Write, blog, publish articles, use social media like LinkedIn. It’s a good way to express and also to get a good review or feedback. It helps build your network.
- Spend time on your financials: List out investments and monthly returns, plan an annuity, distribute your savings into aspects like Insurance, MIP, MF, FD and others. You will find that financial management makes productive use of your time.
- Become a consultant or career counsellor: Identify your strengths and then identify which organizations lack them, such as startups or institutes. Spend time with students and youth, telling them about how corporates work and what careers are available.
- Work with startups: As they are unable to hire a full-time CXO, but require assistance and consulting, this works very well for a part-week assignment, or being an advisor.
- Socialize: Make friends, join a club or community, find people who are in the same boat as you. Form groups (can be virtual) where individuals like yourself from any field meet regularly every week, discussing and seeking opportunities.
- Catch up on life: Read, drive, cook, plan vacations, visits to relatives, family engagements which you were not able to do earlier.
- Exercise: Follow a regime like late morning walks (you also need the sleep), reading, socializing and some health trips.
- Keep your mind positive and occupied: Associate yourself with an NGO/NPO. Keep yourself joyful all the time. Like Bernard Shaw said: “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing”.
I leave you with a last suggestion…be part of an association like Unfold Second Innings, which has members full of experience and wisdom!
Second Innings – A Change Of Gears (by Ajay Bhatkal)
With 38 years of work experience, Ajay Bhatkal is best known for marrying technology to end business use. He is now a Consulting CIO and Business Mentor for small and medium enterprises, startups and any organization that requires business and technology assistance. As a member of Unfold Second Innings, and as an HR professional, he shares his points of view on some factors surrounding retirement and how to mentally prepare for it.
Testimonial from an Employer
Manoj Nandkeolyar is the Vice President of Miraya Hotel, an upscale business hotel in Bengaluru, which has recently provided employment to one of the Unfold Second Innings members. He tells us what prompted him to hire from the community and his thoughts about a second career.
Unfold Second Innings (USI) has a community of experienced professionals and, since talent has no age barrier, they can assist organizations in achieving their goals. We are fortunate to have selected an employee from the USI community as he has become a valuable core team member.
As Bengaluru is the startup capital of India, and many companies are looking for talent who can work within their budgets, it's a great opportunity for the USI community to help plug the gap. Skilling oneself for a second innings will be advantageous as they will fit into the organization seamlessly.
Testimonial from a Recently Placed Member
Shruti Nagpal is a member of Unfold Second Innings. She returned from a career break of about seven years and has got an opportunity with a financial company as Consultant - Business Development. She tells us a little about her journey to this stage.
I did my Master’s in Finance and was placed with an Internal Audit firm. I worked there for around two years after which I took an internal transfer to the FP&A division. After four years, my husband and I decided to have a baby. I took a break from my career after my daughter was born in 2012. My daughter is seven years old now. She goes to a full-day school which leaves a lot of time for me to now start my second innings!
I was actively looking for work for the past three months. I spoke to my friends who were on maternity breaks as well. Suggestions and encouragement from friends helped me to get back into the market and actively start pursuing a job.
I was introduced to Puja Kohli by my father, who has known her for the past few years. It was wonderful getting to know the Unfold Second Innings team who are extremely encouraging and helpful.
If you’re looking to start your second innings, never give up! There might be rejections and roadblocks, but that shouldn’t disappoint or discourage you.
Current Career Opportunities
Career opportunities are open for age group 40+, with no upper limit...as long as you're agile, fit and have relevant skills! Read more about these jobs on our website and apply for them. You can also write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing & Communication Specialists
Tutors / Teachers
Program Leads / Co-ordinators
Business Advisors / Mentors
Public Relations Specialists
Among many career opportunities, we receive requests for the following. Feel free to send us your resume or let us know of your interests, so we can connect with you.
Be a part of the social sector as a Board Member
A Trust in Bangalore, run by social sector professionals and senior corporate leaders is working with small and medium sized NGOs in different domains to enhance transparency and efficiency in their working.
They believe that motivated individuals from different fields can add significant value in the areas of Compliance, Accounting, Finance, Governance, HR, MIS, Marketing and Fund raising and Strategy to NGOs.
They are looking for people who have a minimum of 15 years of work experience. Previous exposure to the Social Sector is not a requirement. No bar on age and sex. In order to be effective, the applicant must have a working knowledge of Kannada and English. Meaningful contribution can be best made if such individuals join the Board of these NGOs to provide oversight and leadership. All these positions are pro-bono.
All the positions are for Karnataka-based NGOs working in the areas of child and women’s rights, disability, education and/or livelihood. The trust will train and handhold the Board members over the first six months.
Such positions will warrant a two to three-year commitment to the organization. It is expected that the Board member will spend an average of one full day a month.
Being a part of the social sector has always been one of my unfulfilled desires. For me, associating with the social sector provides an opportunity to know my country better. Moreover, moving out of my own confines and familiar spheres would only make me more well-rounded and grow within.
When Unfold Second Innings (USI) came up with this opportunity to be a board member of an NGO, I grabbed it. Attending the 2-day workshop of the Foundation helped me to understand and also deal with my own doubt about whether I can do something like this, as most of the members of the foundation were senior members in the corporate field. My journey has started and the next step for me is to be associated with the identified NGO and thereafter deepen my links. I am quite excited for this new foray as it helps me to learn new skills and makes me more adept. It gives me a sense of purpose and that is vital for me.
I thank USI for making it happen. USI is always on the look-out for opportunities for second innings candidates. It is also very well networked. This is pioneering work and as I see organizations like USI playing more significant roles in the rapidly “greying urban India”. They are like the gateway for people like me.
- Dhruva Kumar Sen
Did you know that Unfold Second Innings community members can get 50% off the course fee with NICT – a computer training institute? Learn various MS Office software, how to use social media, Tally software and more! Get in touch to know how you can avail this offer. Also, connect with us if you’re interested in any specific training programs.
Get ready for a fun meet-up, coming soon! Before we all head into the many festivities that start from October, let's meet and greet each other, put faces to the new members' names, share stories and have some fun! Stay tuned for more information.
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