How seniors can overcome challenges of job transition

Older office workers seen at Raffles Place.
Older office workers seen at Raffles Place. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

An inevitable consequence of growing older is dealing with transitions and the challenges they bring.

We deal with declining physical and mental abilities, where what were originally simple tasks no longer appear to be so.

We struggle to keep up with technology and the many new modes of communication, and the expectations that come with them.

And, of course, for most of us in the workforce, we confront issues such as redundancy, income insecurity and ageism.

Job transition is among the tougher challenges to overcome.

So, how can we best cope with a job change?

• Stay positive

A job change is not the end of the world. If anything, it can open doors to new opportunities in new fields.

A national effort is afoot to create quality jobs across all sectors and skill levels, as well as to encourage more flexible work arrangements.

To take advantage of these developments, the first step is to adopt a positive outlook, trust in your abilities, and believe that there are more good years ahead.

• Stay active

Research jobs of interest and apply for them with confidence. And do not hesitate to seek help in doing so.

The Workforce Development Agency and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) provide a range of employment support services for jobseekers, and these are catered for professional executives and rank-and-file staff.

Examples of their services include skills conversion courses and place-and-train programmes.

It is most heartening to hear that the Government will be enhancing these services.

Even for seniors opting for retirement, they can and should seek guidance from a job/life coach, in order to achieve a secure and engaged retirement for themselves. The Centre for Seniors runs a series of work-life transition workshops for seniors.

• Stay hungry

We need to be realistic in our expectations and be receptive to other types of work as well as remuneration arrangements.

Jobseekers who insist on business as usual (the same work with the same perks as their previous job) are often those who find it hardest to transition to new jobs.

It pays to approach any new job with the same hunger as we did our first job, except that we now have the added benefit of experience and wisdom.

• Stay healthy

Maintain an optimal state of well-being through a combination of healthy eating, exercise and rest. Be well, so that things can be well.

Lim Sia Hoe (Ms)
Executive Director
Centre For Seniors

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2016, with the headline 'How seniors can overcome challenges of job transition'. Print Edition | Subscribe