by Marilyn Bromley, Washington, DC Chapter, Competitive Intelligence, Information Technology, Legal, and Social Science Divisions
Being Future Ready means more than just keeping your job knowledge and skills current; as we all know in today’s economy, the job you are in and the work you do can change at a moment’s notice. Your position may be eliminated, your responsibilities may be substantially changed, your employer may go out of business or be sold, your department may be downsized or combined with another unit – the possibilities are endless, good or bad.
I know I’m more aware of this now than I was a few months ago, and I’ve begun to ponder the elemental question: what do I want to do with the rest of my life? I love my career and hope to have many more professional years ahead of me, but just in case, what other life for myself can I envision and create? I want to volunteer, maybe work part-time, maybe create a short-term second career… who knows? (and not me yet!)
The SLA Encore Caucus (encore.sla.org) is a good place to start; on their website you’ll find informative posts like “Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement,” “Long-Term Projections for Social Security” (read this when you’re in a good place!), and “Retirement Confidence Survey 2011.” There is also an Encore Mindmap that I found helpful despite my uncertainty about what a mindmap is. Under Resources, be sure to check out Transition Strategies. It will help you organize your thinking and research your options; as information professionals, organization and research are our comfort skills and will help reduce uncertainly, fear and trepidation!
One recommended book by Encore members is Don’t Retire, REWIRE, Sedlar & Miners, 2nd edition, Alpha, 2007. The note says: Helps you identify your drivers and how to apply them to your new life as well as to create a rewired vision to put your action plan in motion.
In thinking about your finances, in the post “Whether retirement is Near or Far…” you’ll find this advice from Arthur Stein, certified financial planner with SPC Financial in Rockville, Maryland.
- reduce your expenditures five percent right now and see what that’s like;
- keep track of expenditures or go back retroactively and try and estimate how much you spent in the last six or 12 months. See where your money’s going;
- don’t do it before you get an actual retirement plan that would show that you’re ready;
- don’t pull the trigger (i.e. retire) too soon.
We owe it to ourselves, our loved ones and our society to have a Plan B and a Plan C in mind when our Plan A turns an unexpected corner.
Marilyn Bromley is Library Director at BNA and past-chair of the Social Science Division, past president of the DC Chapter, and active in the Legal Division. She is currently running for Director, 2012 SLA Board.