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The Future Of Work And How This Will Affect Older Workers

The Future Of Work And How This Will Affect Older Workers

By Hunter Leonard

I’m intensely interested in the fortunes of mature workers and mature business owners.

Having spent the last two decades working with business owners, and the last 5 years or so with a specific focus on mature age business and work, I’m somewhat bemused by the artificial barriers being put in front of mature individuals in our society.

In many countries, mature workers experience ageism at frightening rates.

And combined with rapid changes in the nature of work, we have a great deal of work to do in order to ensure mature workers can remain financially secure in the latter part of their working lives.

But it can be done, if we commit to some important actions.

Before we get to those actions, let’s talk a little about the future of work and talk about some relevant statistics from leading organisations around the world.

  • Intuit shares data that over 80% of major US companies are planning to switch to employing freelance labour
  • Edelman Research reported that in 2017 the Gig Economy was growing 3x faster than the traditional employment market
  • Go Remotely shares that 63% of regular full time employees will leave their jobs for a gig
  • And Intuit says that the GIG economy may comprise up to 40% of the entire workforce

In order to prepare for the future of work, we need to act, and act now.

As a first action, we need to ensure that mature workers are given full face value for their experience and wisdom, and not discounted from roles because of their calendar age.

As a mature worker, there are some things you can do to take back control:

  1. Make yourself aware of the future of work – specifically in relation to your skills or area of expertise
  2. Find out who and where companies are hiring freelance workers with your skills for short term ‘gigs’
  3. As there will be a lot of self employment in the future, you will need to learn the skills of owning a business, so research and find short courses on starting and running a business. Particularly practical courses designed and run by people who have actually run businesses.

Unless we ensure people in their 50’s, 60’s and beyond are able to work for as long as they need to secure their financial future and or fund their retirement, the every increasing burden will fall on governments and tax payers to fund the social purse.

It will be infinitely more effective to ensure the individual can fund their own lifestyle and retirement, than relying on an ever diminishing social purse. We’ll all grow older at some stage and reducing opportunities for mature workers because of ageism or poor planning is just being ageist against our future selves.

Hunter Leonard is a best selling author and business owner based in Australia who has helped over 500 clients achieve more than $2billion in revenue growth. He is passionate about contributing to an end to ageism. His latest book – The Experience Equation – is available now on AMAZON. For more information please visit silverandwise.com.au