The post-divorce era is no doubt a time for reflection, certainly a time of change, and likely a crossroads of where one has been, and what comes next. Sage advice is not to make any major life changing decisions for at least a year after such a huge life event; however, on a personal level, I felt a sense of some urgency to “get on with it” now that I am in the third and final act!
Nothing earth shattering, but I knew that I was keen for a new career path that would bring purpose into my single life. I needed to give back in some way after living such a privileged life for so long.
I found a new path purely by chance. Last year I attended the funeral of my uncle. I remembered talking with the celebrant afterwards and thinking what a valuable contribution she had made to the service. You see, ask most people and they do not know what a celebrant is. In layman’s terms, it is a person who performs or officiates ceremonies, be it human funerals, pet funerals (my specialty), weddings, naming ceremonies, or vow renewals: and not in a religious context, rather a spiritual one.
I liked that a lot, it resonated with me, and after doing some extensive research I decided to invest in a reputable training course. Not technically mandatory, but I believe showing credibility is worth its weight in gold. Hence, a five-day intensive in-house training course ensued, and it was illuminating for so many reasons.
There were 20 of us on this course aged anywhere between 25 and 75. It was fascinating to meet people from different walks of life, coming together in this short space of time for the same reason, but processing the experience in vastly different ways.
To the point that those of us in the more “senior” age group showed compassion, empathy, wisdom, understanding, and plain common sense that the “younger” age group simply lacked and through no fault of their own. Because life events carve the path to experience and knowledge, and we simply have to earn all the valuable lessons: we can’t buy them or take a shortcut.
That is why I am always puzzled that there is such rampant ageism in the workplace (whichever country I have lived in, and there have been many). Employing competent seniors should be viewed as the jewel in the crown, not the valueless fake gem, as it so often is.
One of my first services was for the loss of a son of one of my oldest friends. Needless to say, it was difficult for me to keep it together, yet somehow I did (after a small wobble). Shortly afterwards, I held a pet ceremony for the loss of a dog, and pet losses are definitely just as impactful for many people as human loss.
I realized that I enjoyed this line of work so much because it enabled me to connect with, and offer a helping hand, in times of need for those who are grieving. Thus, I found a line of work that suited me well, and it felt good to get out there and learn something new, thereby building my confidence, and finding a sense of achievement by challenging myself. If you wish to understand more about celebrants, I can be found at www.gypsysoulcelebrant.com
So, my advice to you is to listen to that old cliche of “it’s never too late.” Go find that special something that speaks to your soul, and remember that collectively we have put in years of blood, sweat and tears to earn the badge that makes us so valuable in the workplace. That is true whether we choose to cultivate a small business of our own, or we are out there as employees; seniors bring value to the table.
What would be your chosen new career path? Do you feel undervalued in your senior years? What would be your dream job in your sixties?
Tags Encore Careers