Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PUTTING YOUR EXPERTISE AND PASSION TO GOOD USE


Of late there has been a spate of letters to the papers from retirees lamenting the lack of re-employment opportunities available to them. Citing age discrimination as the main reason, they also complain that companies are reluctant to hire them despite their wealth of knowledge, experience and academic qualifications because it’s cheaper to recruit younger professionals.

However, the front page headline in The New Straits Times (15 June) tells a different story “Older talent preferred by headhunters”. Apparently, the older generation have a better command of the (English) language, are more resilient and possess qualifications on par with international standards – all of which are absent in the younger generation. The demand is high for those with experience in engineering, mining, oil and gas, infrastructure, animal health, agri-business, biotechnology, semi-conductors, water treatment, actuarial science, and investment banking. If you fit the bill, send in your applications to online recruitment companies.

With some of my students at a WOU tutorial

If you have a passion for teaching, you can always try tutoring at any of the open universities: Open University Malaysia (OUM), Wawasan Open University (WOU) or Asia e University (AeU). There are more openings for part-time tutors than for lecturers. The pay is nothing to shout about, but if money is not a big issue but keeping gainfully occupied is, then do consider this option.

Training under Dr Michael Heah of Corporate Coach


Alternatively, you can set up your own consultancy, or training company. But be prepared to slog the first few years to build up your company. If you can find the time, write a book and share your expertise with others.

Finally, if all you want is to have an opportunity to offer your skills and services gratis to the many charities and non-government organizations (NGOs) in your community, take your pick from the list in the side bar under "Donations and Volunteers Needed".


At the opening of the new centre for children with Down Syndrome (Photo: The Star)


A recent study on volunteerism among older people revealed these benefits:

~ volunteering leads to better health, and older volunteers are the most likely to receive physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities

~ volunteer activities can strengthen the social ties that protect individuals from isolation during difficult times, while the experience of helping others leads to a sense of greater self-worth and trust.

~ even when controlling for other factors such as age, health, and gender, research has found that when individuals volunteer, they are more likely to live longer.

However, to receive the positive health benefits, volunteers need to commit at least one to two hours a week to volunteer activities.

To quote Gen Tan Sri Datuk Zain Hashim (Rtd), MIM chairman, "It is never more rewarding than seeing that a lifetime’s accumulated wisdom and experience are put to good use at one’s golden age."


2 comments:

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