What's the Difference?
Do you know the difference between crystals and crystalized intelligence and how they relate to job skills? Surprisingly, they are similar in many ways! Crystals are of a solid material, usually quartz, and are highly reflective. Crystalized intelligence is the accumulation of facts and knowledge. Both are valuable gems and are very desirable! But relating to job skills, Crystalized intelligence is a more valuable asset.
Both crystals and crystalized intelligence are highly reflective: crystals, as basically a piece of glass, and crystalized intelligence, reflecting years of skills and experience. Halftime is the perfect time of life to see how your job skills can be reimagined and reflected to create your desired lifestyle. If you take the time to dream a little, journal your thoughts and affirm what you have gathered, learned and applied throughout your life, you may be surprised at the wealth of reflective skills you already own!
Speaking of reflection and crystals, Swarovski crystals are some of my favorite. They go back to 1895, originally from Austria. I’m most familiar with their jewelry, as it’s fun to add a bit of sparkle, whether earrings, a bracelet or necklace. Swarovski actually has three divisions of their company. As well as jewelry, they make optical instruments (telescopes) and tools and machines, all using some sort of reflective technology.
The Swarovski jewelry captures a silvery shine that gives them their unique silver color. I even have several of their Christmas ornaments. In the same way, your crystalized intelligence is part of what is reflected throughout your personality and your abilities with the potential of creating new and exciting opportunities.
Research of nearly 50,000 subjects showed that the peak for emotional evaluation occurs for most people in their late 40’s or 50’s.* The largest accumulation of knowledge is in the late 60’s or early 70’s. This affirms the value of a lifelong learning attitude at every stage of life, especially halftime. (age 40+) There are many that look forward to retiring and social security at the age of 65, but the quest for personal and professional growth, working in a field you love (even your dream job!) and living out your ideal lifestyle is entirely possible with a growth mindset at this stage of life. You can have many more years of satisfying and productive work! If you are approaching this chapter of your life, you have garnered a massive storehouse of facts and knowledge that is extremely valuable!
Many companies will be and are currently targeting older workers, especially women and minorities, to fill key positions. They realize the great value of the available job skills among this demographic with the knowledge and experience they possess. This should be encouraging to most at the halftime of life and also inspirational to not give up as the smile lines grow deeper, partnered with a lack of nimbleness compared to your 20-year old self.
Jobs Reimagined and Reinvented
Many jobs will be reimagined, or reinvented. Just like there are no completely new songs as many of the progressions and formats are similar, most jobs are built upon the framework of a previous position or skillset. Keeping an open mind in learning new technical skills and additional business platforms along with enhancing and incorporating current job skills can create many more years of satisfying and profitable work. Take some time to think through this step as it applies to your unique situation and write out your thoughts in your journal. (you are journaling aren’t you?)
As a word of caution, just because your job skills are in one area doesn’t necessarily mean there is work readily available in that specific area for an emerging marketplace. With jobs that are reimagined, what was done in one field may now be very applicable in a new field. Let’s take a long-time high school history teacher as an example. With more of the boomer population looking to travel, a person with a world history background could provide service as a historical resource to tour guides, even creating online programs with fascinating stories and historical facts to prepare both guides and travelers for their trips. An added plus would be to travel to those places and add real-life experience most would love to see on Instagram!
Affirm your Value, then Grow
I know a photographer that has created a monthly membership site that provides entrepreneurs with photos and ideas for their posts and memes. This takes a good amount of work developing a customer base, but it is entirely possible and can be extremely profitable as well as fun. This model creates another lane apart from a gig economy, where a photographer jumps from shooting multiple weddings to taking head shots. That lifestyle becomes exhausting fairly quickly!
Affirming the value of your job skills, then continuing to develop and grow them in a fluxing economy is the definition of sustainability. However, it’s extremely important to take the time for research and discovery in what the marketplace needs and will pay for. Assess your skills and experience, realizing how reflective and unique they are as your own crystal intelligence. Combine that assessment with who you are, your personality and your abilities and you have a recipe for success and fun!
*Hartshorne JK, Germine LT. When does cognitive functioning peak? The asynchronous rise and fall of different cognitive abilities across the life span. Psychol Sci. 2015;26(4):433-43. doi:10.1177/0956797614567339
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