turning your unique experience into transferable skills.

Retirement does not mean you’re no longer fit to work. Far from it.

The myth that retirement or long breaks from employment are damaging to career development fails to account for the wealth of experiences that make fresher (if slightly older) faces appealing candidates for jobs in all industries.

But how do you ensure that the capabilities you’ve learnt during or before retirement are visible and relevant to employers? Transferable skills are easier to kick into action than you might think. Here’s our guide to identifying and mobilising your learnings.

keep an eye on the clock.

One skill that can make you hugely effective is time management. Setting goals, working efficiently, prioritising and practicing punctuality are all necessary for enjoyable travel schedules or retirement plans that don’t dissolve into inactivity.

learn to laugh.

Seeing the funny side of tense or high-pressure situations is what keeps us level headed. The broader range of experience you might have as a retiree is what makes you capable of managing roles that younger staff find overly-intense.

never give up.

Whether it’s spending time with family or honing a new hobby, retirement requires you to hone your judgement, develop new skills and learn how to manage new challenges. Approaching the unknown with determination and persistence is exactly the kind of practice you’ll be deploying when returning to the working world.

consider yourself Mr Manager.

Looking people in the eye, saying hello to your bus driver, keeping a sprawling network of siblings and cousins together, and all those years of working with a boss or line manager: these are the people and communication skills that are really valued in any workplace.

plan ahead.

It’s not too hard to see why organisation and planning are valuable to employers – the opposite end of those skills spells disaster and chaos. Whether you’ve been travelling, writing or tackling practical needs at home, you will have been focusing on detail and taking all the necessary precautions to construct an effective plan. These are practices that every professional should have in their back pocket.

crack the nut.

Problem-solving is process required at every stage of a planned break from work, and pulls such crucial skills as creative thinking and decision-making under one highly professionalised roof. Using your problem-solving facilities every day rather than for specific tasks in a sheltered workplace will teach you to see issues as opportunities – that’s how businesses grow and develop.

If you find yourself shying away from broaching your retirement on your CV, remind yourself of the enriching experiences you’ve had, and the ways in which they will positively shape the next phase of your professional persona. If you know you’re a desirable candidate, the employer will see that too.

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