Linking Gender And Generational Balance: Careers In The Age Of Longevity

Would you like to know the exact day of your death? Most people I’ve asked answer no. Yet it is information that most countries and companies, as well as the other half of your couple, might benefit from getting. I read of a website that would help, and bravely answered the five questions on Deathclock.com. It gave me the one answer that I was truly unprepared for…by announcing I would die aged 106! Like many of my peers, I had thought I could gently start thinking about retirement in my mid-50s. This simple game jolted me to ask: What if I lived much, much longer than I had been planning for?

Half the children born today have a 50% chance of living to 105. That’s up from 1% a century ago. While the debate about exactly how long we can hope to live rages on, it’s likely to be a lot longer than any of us are prepared for. And as our lifespan extends, so our “healthspan” is likely also to improve, leaving us healthier, both physically and mentally, for much longer. This has implications for every dimension of life – but one of the things it will impact most is our current conception, definition, and expectations of what a career looks like.

Most of the jobs today’s schoolchildren will occupy do not yet exist. Artificial intelligence, robots, and technology will contribute to their creation. What we do know is that the pace of change continues to accelerate, while our time on earth stretches ever longer. We will be running faster for longer than ever before in human history, changing our footwear regularly to keep up with our peers and our times. We better start training. I can guarantee only one thing: if we aren’t fit for the marathon, it won’t be much fun.

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