You have put in your time in the corporate world. You have accomplished most of your goals and it is time to retire. You have earned a nice, long break from the rat race. But the world is not done with you. And there is a very good chance you are not done with the world. Over time, you have noticed a few things that are broken in society that need fixing. Consider the possibility that you are the right person for the job.
You are more than just the sum of your work history. You have lived a full life and have many insights that the world could use. Your experience, good and bad, are priceless. Your activism has never found its full expression because you have been too busy making a living. Now, you are in a position to make a difference.
There is no reason to let your inexperience or lack of formal education in a field stop you from entering it and lending a hand where it is most needed. Here are three fields you could enter that need people with insight, wisdom, and perspective. You already have that. The rest is just classwork:
As the world population increases, we will need more and more buildings to house them, to employ them, and to be places of worship for them. There will be more shops and stores and malls. All these new structures need to be safe and free from toxins, unlike the buildings constructed last century. They need to be environmentally friendly. And they need to be affordable.
You know what needs to be done, you just need to know how to do it. Consider an architecture degree. Take the next four years and get a degree in something that will not only serve to fund the rest of your retirement, it will mean the world to the people in your community and beyond.
You can make a big difference in places that have been ravaged by storms. Those cities will have to be rebuilt. You can work in a part of the world that is savaged by earthquakes knocking down their buildings. Earthquake-proof construction can save lives and fortunes. We are in desperate need of people who can come up with building solutions to protect against gale-force wind and rain. You can be the difference the world is looking for. Better buildings are possible, we just need better minds working on it.
Software for Seniors
One of the top, digital skills you can learn from home is programming and software design. This is not just a good way to earn good money during retirement, it is a mission that can help countless seniors do a better job of interacting with the digital world in which they find themselves.
It is demeaning for seniors to have to rely on their kids and grandkids to help them install and use the software on their smartphones and computers. That is an ethical failure on the part of the computer industry. All software should be as intuitive as possible, not some test of geekdom. Grandma and grandpa aren’t stupid. They are some of the smartest and most capable people of their generation. They shouldn’t have to feel stupid when interacting with technology. By designing that software, you can make this world as accessible as the one they used to know.
One of the biggest problems with history is that it is taught by people who haven’t actually lived much of it. In fact, some places have harsh restrictions on teaching certain subjects such as racism. When it is taught, it is in the most sterile terms that ensure no sensibilities will be offended.
Unfortunately, history can be somewhat offensive. We keep repeating our mistakes because we do not get the real story from the people who lived it. You can get a teacher’s certification and bring new insight into the classroom. You don’t have to break regulatory mandates to do it. You can find creative ways to tell the truth about the world. Our kids need to know. That’s what school is for. We just need the right teachers. You can be that person.
Retire if you must. But you are not done with the world and the world is not done with you. It is calling you to help produce more ethical architecture, better software experiences for seniors, and a better world by teaching.