I have to admit that I am not exactly at the forefront of social media when it comes to furthering project opportunities. As I reported in my last post I have been working for much of the past year in writing a learning programme to help people to design a retirement that they love. My co-author Mike Scally and I know how to write learning materials but how to get them up on screen and then how to market this online product was beyond us so we linked up with a Leeds digital marketing company – First10.  The whole  programme which will be free to use and sponsored by a multinational should be launched by Septemeber.  A large marketing emphasis will be social media so I was intrigued to discover more. I then came across a great infographic from a company called Maximillion. Raine Parker from Maximillion wrote this introduction to it. I learned a lot so hopefully you might too…….

“Are you planning to jump on to the social media bandwagon in the near future? Promoting your company or services on social media networks can lead to greater brand recognition, higher conversion rates, increased traffic to website, reduced marketing costs, improved customer satisfaction and even better SEO rankings. Maximillion recently came up with this amazing infographic which shows just how essential is social media for businesses, especially if you are into event management.”


Social Media To Market Events


the rainbow years coverA number of people have commented to me recently that I have been very quiet on this site. Someone even wanted to know if I was still alive! Well, I am very much alive but have been devoting a huge chunk of my paid work time for the past year in working with my old writing partner Mike Scally in producing a free to use online learning programme now called ‘Live Happier: Design a Retirement that you Love’.  This for us was a natural follow on from our last book written together in 2008 – The Rainbow Years: The Pluses of Being 50+. We created this online programme as we became increasingly convinced that ‘retirement’ was largely being reinvented by the baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 – 1964). Their parents and definitely their grandparents simply would not recognise what retirement is starting to look like.  80% of the country’s wealth is owned by the boomers. Increasingly they are not stopping paid work at 60 or even 65. They are cutting down on the hours they spend in paid work but increasing the hours they spend in unpaid work. They are starting new businesses, going self-employed, starting new careers, experimenting with portfolio careers, travelling the world, learning new skills, supporting children and grandchildren financially and in caring roles. They are volunteering on a grand scale. And can you believe many of them are having Fun! They can do all of this of course as they are living so much longer and healthier.

Yes we know that dementia is increasing, care homes beckon, money might run out and then there are all of the other scare stories and statistics enjoyed by the media. But proportionately, this generation is the fittest, healthiest and wealthiest in history. And, by the way, as a society we know fundamentally what needs to be done to ensure that we minimise our chances of developing dementia, diabetes, heart problems, cancers and strokes. That is not to say that everyone knows this or indeed behaves accordingly but more of us are refusing to go ‘gently into that dark night’ without a hell of a fight.

An 87 year old lady we met a while ago announced that “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting – Holy shit …what a ride!” Actually I think we might wish to push for a reasonably well-preserved body but you get her point.

We have opportunities to develop lifestyles in retirement unknown and beyond belief to those living in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Over the whole 20th century life expectancy increased by 30 years. The whole concept of retirement is only just over 100 years old. In the pre-pension era people died largely when still working. Then in the 20th century a way of living developed that we like to call the 3 boxes of life. School was the first one and that was where you supposedly learned everything you would need in life. Then you moved to work – a job, any job and if you were lucky you liked your work. Then finally retirement – which usually was not very long and was associated primarily with leisure. A few years respite from a hard grind at work!

Now of course learning is crucial throughout life and we would argue needs to continue into retirement. Work is also something that people are starting to continue to do for many more years and many actually look for work that they love. And then finally retirement – a term that increasingly ceases to  make sense.  It is now an opportunity for combining some paid and unpaid work and everything else that our programme deals with. Our younger generations are already experimenting with ‘retiring’ from paid work at different points in their lives so that increasingly those 3 boxes are looking more like an overlapping sponge cake with those 3 ingredients – learning, work and leisure overlapping throughout the life cycle. Full retirement from paid work is and will be happening later and later in life. Partial retirement will increase considerably and of course unpaid work and leisure. Mike and I are replacing the term Retirement with Portfolio Living. A portfolio career was and is a great start to preparing for a portfolio life.

This should be launched through widespread advertising and promotion in July. It is being sponsored by a multinational who I am not allowed to name until launch. As soon as I can then you will be first to know here and if you are 50+ hopefully you will find it helpful. The first 6 modules are on Vision, Finance, Relationships, Work, Wellbeing and Leisure. The media, especially at the moment with the new pensions revolution, are totally preoccupied with money. Of course this is crucial but we know of so many people who have that sorted out but are unhappy, depressed and lacking verve and meaning in their lives.

My strapline continues to be Helping People Become Architects of Their Own Future. In later years it is just as important to remember that you can reinvent yourself at any age or stage. What was sometimes called the ‘twilight years’ increasingly are becoming the ‘highlight years’.




‘Generation Forward Slash’

23 March 2015

This is the title of a very informative article by Helen Rumbelow in the Times 2 section on March 16. She picks up well on the idea that in the last century people who adopted this career pattern were considered to be fly by nights and diletantes. She talks about the debt we owe to [...]

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Seth Godin – the purveyer of career wisdom

4 January 2015

I have quoted Seth a number of times before and strongly recommend that you subscribe to his free daily website. I particularly liked this one as portfolio workers we are primarily responsible for our own personal and professional development and one of the best ways of accomplishing this is by asking people how they do [...]

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24 December 2014

I have noticed a recent trend in that many people are linking to the assessment tool on this site that will give you an idea as to whether or not a portfolio career is right for you. In the results we make it clear that if you are a perfecionist then a portfolio career is [...]

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Working in a startup is a ‘dream job’ for two-thirds of people

16 December 2014

The widescale move towards a new model for work continues to develop. People increasingly want a portfolio career or to be running their own business. Large, corporate employers are struggling to compete with start-ups in the “war for talent”, claims research just published.  A study of more than 1,000 people working in companies with over [...]

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Unpaid work in your portfolio career

15 December 2014

  I have always liked to have at least one unpaid job in my portfolio career – sometimes more than one. My latest one for the past 12 months has been one of the most fulfilling pieces of unpaid work that I have ever had the fortune to participate in. I was invited to become [...]

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More and more people are starting their own businesses

7 December 2014

Not every portfolio worker is an entrepreneur but many are. As such some of the latest findings on entrepreneurship in the UK are fascinating. According to new data from information services firm Experian, more first-time entrepreneurs are starting businesses than ever before, and these debut directors tend to come from less affluent backgrounds than the [...]

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How to build an alumni network

27 November 2014

If this makes you grimace then maybe you should think again. I get increasingly bombarded from the 2 universities from which I gained degrees for attending events, giving money, meet ups, etc. Except that as portfolio workers most of us have to network in ways that we probably did not think necessary when we had [...]

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Portfolio workers working from home

23 October 2014

There are more and more people setting up businesses from home as this excellent research report from Enterprise Nation shows. A big plus is that the G’ment are actively encouraging this and ensuring that people can do this without having to pay business rates, seek planning permission and giving guidelines for a model tenancy agreement [...]

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