Pivoting careers and pivoting life purpose. These are trends amongst Millennials and ones that Boomers are starting to embrace in and approaching their so-called “retirement years”.
Pivoting careers and pursuing purpose is what my twenty-something sons are doing. So too are many of their friends.
What Millennials are doing is trying and seeking.
For Boomers this time of life is the best time to do this…again and with even greater results.
Millennials are trying something out that seems right today and turns out to not be what they’re seeking. Then moving on to something else based on what they’re learned, perceived and now understand about themselves.
I know of so many people of all generations who pursued a major in college and the accompanying career because they thought it was a good fit, sounded good at the time or because they were supposed to. Only to discover it was a poor choice. True for millennials, Gen Xer’s and Boomers (and just about every generation in human history).
Case in point: A neighborhood kid who was almost like a third son to us. He was strong in math and science. Therefore, he pursued an engineering degree from a prestigious school and got a great job. But he didn’t like it. He realized it wasn’t right for him.
Despite significant financial penalties he left that job and got into sales (something I never would have expected for or from him). He flourished and loved it. Now he is already moving up the ladder to a bigger and more promising sales job.
He tried. He sought. He “pivoted”.
It is typical for Millennials to work at a job for only a year or two. In fact it has become the standard. Certainly, there are downsides because you can bail out too soon and you can become so adept at changing or seeking nirvana that you never find your groove.
Is this something Boomers can learn from Millennials and benefit?
Think about Boomers. How many of us pursued a life and a career doing what we thought we were supposed to do or should do but not what we wanted to do. Or, we never took or had the opportunity to explore and discover what was right for us. Especially, to explore and discover what would give us the purpose, joy and fulfillment that was right for us.
A must watch for this: Boomercast: How to Discover your True Passion and True Purpose
The same goes for pursing traditional retirement. How many of us are doing it because we think that’s what you’re supposed to do?
Add to that the perception that retirement gives us the opportunity to finally do what we want to do. This is true. But not necessarily in the way you may think.
Up to this point, people have been trained to believe that retirement is this happy place where things magically unfold. Where they can finally become the person that they have been chasing. But just removing work from your life won’t do that. People have to understand that retirement doesn’t eliminate work, it reorients it. You still have to work in other ways including putting an effort into your new identity, relationships, social network and physical health.
-Robert Laura Forbes: Stop Chasing the Illusion of Retirement
To which a childhood friend of mine replied on LinkedIn:
Ponder the following:
- Is now the best time in your life to pursue what you really, really want or need to do?
- Is it traditional retirement or a new pursuit (e.g. career, job, business, etc.)?
- Is this your chance to pivot like a millennial with the wisdom, network, time, and resources with which to do it and succeed?
Share your thoughts, questions and answers in the comments below.