What do you do when you’re let go from the only job you’ve been doing for your entire life?
To start, let’s see why that even happens in the first place (after all, you DID spend years in the company trying to perfect one major skill)
The composition of the global workforce is ever changing. With the rise in start-ups and new companies (in India in 2015, one startup got funded every 8 hours), people with varied experiences, who were willing to work in different fields with much lesser requirements from the job became increasingly in demand. That obviously became the reason why the companies decided to outsource these jobs now, that would have ten years ago require dedicated personnel.
Millennials make up 50% of the global workforce- if the rate at which they are being hired follows, then by 2020 millennials are expected to make up more than 75% of the workforce. The reasons are simple- they are affordable, efficient, and much more flexible when it comes to work hours, experience, or specialization. Of course, Baby boomers (people born between the years 1946 and 1964), by the end of it, have a narrower field of experience or specialization, which in turn gives them a negative edge.
This gives rise to a rather depressing trend. Upon speculation, it was apparent that there was a rising trend- people in their late fifties were being let go, with their jobs being passed on to the generation younger to them because they were more “efficient or strategic when it came to doing their job”.
The problem is in this question itself.
The reason that you’re in a fix for not knowing what to do when you’re let go of, is because you never spent enough time on yourself to learn anything else!
Flashback to when you took this job, got married (or settled down in whatever way you deem stable), and hoped and wished that one day, you’d have worked so hard, that you’ll be able to retire happily without having any burden or any obligation to work anymore.
Now that it is 20 years later, and perhaps, at max 6 years before your retirement, it’s not as if you’re particularly in the middle of your career. You couldn’t have steered your life in a separate direction at the end of your career. And even if you did want to do something as drastic as changing your industry or your job, then well hey, now you have the time!
If this wasn’t as in sync with your plans as the hypothetical situation written above, then maybe, this is a new opportunity to set right the course of the path that you set for yourself generations ago. A few pointers from your parents work life, plus a few liberties (because the times a’ changin’ in the 70’s) lead to a life that doesn’t exactly hold functional in the 21st century.
A research conducted in 2011 showed that more than 28% of people over 60 were still working in India. Being amongst a generation that actually just refuses to retire, isn’t is a good deal that the change you always wanted is being asserted upon you? Because if not now, then when?
Cherish the change and the fact that you have, now, enough liberty to change your course of experience, knowledge, and specialization. Spend time on yourself, and do the things that you had always aspired to do. Clean your house, get to know your friends, lose weight, learn a language, start a company or an advice blog to help people gain something from your years of hard work.
Till now you worked for the company. It is time now, to work on yourself.
In this day and age, branding yourself both online and off is imperative to set a definitive image about you. This can become your helping step and can become a convenience regardless of what step you decide to take in the future. Use this as an experience in itself, and leverage this sudden accident into a chance for your own development.