Working Grandmothers

From Working Moms to Working Grandmothers: Finding Fulfillment After 60

awesome aging awesome at any age emotional intelligence - self actualization executive encore fulfillment after 60 May 12, 2023

The world has come a long way in acknowledging the crucial role of women in various fields. Whether it’s in the boardroom, in politics, or sports, women have proven time and again that their talents and skills are valuable to their families, their workplaces, and their communities. Indeed, their roles have progressively contributed to the well-being of the inhabitants of Mother Earth.

However, as women age, they are subjected to ageist myths that lead them to feel like they have less to contribute. The danger is that many women internalize societal messages. By the time a woman reaches the age of 60, she has had lots of practice.

Published in time for Mother's Day in Canada, this blog focuses on working grandmothers. You do not need to be a grandmother to appreciate the message that it's time to bust myths and rewrite the narrative. Although I am not a grandmother, I have empathy and admiration for those women who have transitioned from working moms to working grandmothers.

The continuing narrative perpetuates the misconception that women retire from work sometime in their 60s. There are plenty of "shoulds" in the narrative to feed guilt and self-doubt.

On the bright side, more women are now embracing new beginnings and opportunities. This is a time for self-trust and self-actualization. Women are more likely to live longer and healthier lives than ever before. Hence, many are planning for long, satisfying, and well-integrated personal and professional lives beyond what was once the traditional retirement age.

Women can find fulfillment in their professional lives after they become grandmothers. They can, and many do, continue to contribute to their profession, workplace, and community while building a legacy for the next generation and all the grandchildren of the world; not just their own. Here are a few ways you can emulate their executive encore.

Embrace Your Experience and Wisdom

By the time you reach your 60s, you've collected a wealth of experience and knowledge that younger colleagues might lack. You have solved problems, overcome challenges, and you have seen trends come and go. Tap into your experience and wisdom and be open to sharing with others. Use your voice, become a mentor, take on leadership roles.

  • If you work in an organization, take stock of what you have to offer in the role of an intrapreneur to impact younger generations of employees.
  • If you are self-employed or if you are a business owner, take stock of what you have to offer to the younger generations of entrepreneurs.

Revamp and Reinvent Yourself

If you feel that your current professional role (aka "career" or "job") is no longer satisfying or fulfilling, consider reinventing yourself. Revamp your professional development goals and explore courses or training in a new field or starting your own business. Remember, the importance of lifelong learning.1 There are more choices than ever before and you might just find a new passion that triggers reinvention of yourself.

Start a Business – On Your Terms

Women in my personal and professional network are tapping into their "retirement" funds to start businesses. Rather than holding on to savings that were originally intended for financial security in "old age", they are investing in skills and other assets needed to build businesses that contribute to financial flexibility in their age of fulfillment. They are attracted to the opportunity to work at their own pace and on their terms. They are attracted to the ability to continue using their skills, knowledge, and newfound wisdom to contribute to economic empowerment in their communities. Starting a business can be challenging, but there are many resources available to aspiring women entrepreneurs and business owners of all ages.2

Consider Part-Time, Freelance, or Independent Contract Work

If you are not quite ready to leave your professional life and not interested in starting a business, there are other ways to work on your terms. Part-time, freelance, and independent contract work can provide the flexibility and freedom to pursue fulfillment while adding to your income. This option affords the ability to leverage your professional identity and status as a free agent. Being a free agent empowers you to be intentional about choice while still contributing to your community and staying active and engaged.

Build a Legacy for Your Grandchildren and the Next Generation

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a grandmother is the ability to mentor and influence younger generations in your family. You can leave a lasting legacy for your grandchildren by sharing your experience and wisdom, writing down your life story, or even starting a charitable foundation in their honour. Building your legacy is a powerful way to create a positive impact, build strong bonds, and promote social good.

Final Word

Women in their 60s and beyond have more options than ever before when finding fulfillment in their personal and professional lives and making meaningful contributions to their families and communities. By embracing their experience and wisdom, reinventing themselves, exploring options such as starting their own businesses, working as a free agent, and building legacies for their grandchildren, they can lead fulfilling and impactful lives well beyond 60.

Keep moving forward, embrace the challenge, build a legacy, and be awesome at any age.

References and Resources:

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  1. The Importance of Lifelong Learning: Staying Engaged and Fulfilled in Life, Executive Encore Blog, May 5, 2023
  2. For resources available to aspiring women entrepreneurs and business owners of all ages, contact me with your request at [email protected]

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