Dear J.T. & Dale: I have been retired for more than five years, and have had various temp jobs from time to time. I didn’t like my last full-time job, and I haven’t found any job since that I really enjoyed. I recently turned 70. Do you think I have any hope of getting a job doing what I enjoy? – Bill
J.T.: I guess I’m just an eternal optimist, because I believe we can all find rewarding work if we set the right expectations and search the right way. You start with questions: What do I care about most? How do I want to make a difference? Then you look for jobs that fit into that bigger picture. Do that, and I feel certain you will find something.
DALE: Curious, I went to biography.com to look over its list of famous people who will be turning 70 this year. There I found one of my favorite historians, Doris Kearns Goodwin, along with Mick Jagger, John Kerry, Ben Kingsley, and many others. They all bring wonderful energy to their work; however, I’m guessing the real secret of their lasting enthusiasm is that they get wonderful energy from their work. You might be thinking that it’s easy for them – they are, after all, highly paid individuals at the tops of their professions.
True. However, if Doris Kearns Goodwin were not famous or so highly accomplished, what would she be doing? I bet she’d be teaching at a local community college, or volunteering as a docent at her local historical society, or writing a family history. She’d be joyfully pursuing her passion. Follow the energy.
J.T.: One way to discover that energy is through volunteer work, then follow the energy into careers. The other option is to find ways to bring enjoyment to whatever work is available to you. For instance, there’s a man in his 70s who works at my grocery store, who told me that when he took the job bagging groceries, he set himself a goal to bring a smile to every customer who passes by. He has certainly achieved his mission with me – he makes me smile every time!
© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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