LPN Newsletter - June 2013
Defining Second Adulthood Together - Part 1 (continued)
, Ed.D., Chesapeake LPN member
Elizabeth Mahler is a faculty member for graduate programs in education and human resource development at Northeastern and George Washington Universities. In last month’s newsletter, she summarized
the collective thinking of a group of LPN members focused on Paid Work. This month, Elizabeth turns to Non-paid Work and Lifelong Learning.
In last month’s newsletter, I described some exploratory ideas that resulted from a March 2013 CLPN teleconference entitled, Defining Second Adulthood Together. Our collective goal was to begin to differentiate the emerging life stage of second adulthood from those that precede and follow in order to better define this 21st century phenomenon. During the teleconference, participants were asked to reflect on personal or professional experiences, or
"ah-ha" moments, in specific life domains that differentiated second adulthood from earlier adulthood and old age.
The ten life domains included in the LPN "Pie of Life" provided a framework for these initial efforts. We discussed four of the domains during our time together, and will continue the conversation in another teleconference on September 6. Like Paid Work, we found that the focus on Non-paid Work and Lifelong Learning is also shifting at this stage of life.
- Motivation for participation began to shift between "head and heart work"; heart work, such as working in direct services,
became increasingly satisfying, especially for those who spent their earlier careers in more "head-oriented" or administrative work.
Also, while a desire to be paid for the "harder work" (e.g., writing) remained to some extent, a blurring between paid and unpaid work began to emerge.
The need to be productive, add value, learn and be involved with interesting work began to make overall earnings less of a key motivational driver.
- Liberation from previous time constraints began to allow for more flexibility to spend on specific non-paid work areas of interest.
- Expression, relative to non-paid societal contributions, shifted from family-oriented volunteer work and began to
align increasingly with personal interests, social issues, or a newly chosen encore career focus.
- Motivation shifted relative to the choice of learning environment. Formal learning environments with some
degree of rigor were still appreciated, but the driver for learning started to become more interest-oriented. For example,
there is growth in recognized lifelong learning programs (e.g., Osher) that do not have to rely on the type of traditional
teaching/learning/ assessment methods that are usually required in accredited institutions of higher learning (e.g., competency tests).
- Joy/Satisfaction, relative to learning, began to shift from learning to improve one’s performance, to learning for
the joy of it and/or for the value of the learning itself. There might continue to be a learning linkage to one’s work, but because that
link may be connected to paid or unpaid work that has been chosen more deliberately, and with some degree of passion, the learning becomes
personally energizing to the individual.
- Expression of self began to shift when there was time for learning that helped unlock personal creativity; a passion for new
learning was rekindled as individuals began to develop their own "voice" within a new context.
Thanks again to all who participated in the first teleconference.
In September, join us as we continue our exploratory conversation in a second teleconference:
Defining Second Adulthood Together – Part 2 (Friday, September 6, 12 noon ET, details to follow).
We’ll spend a bit more time on the domain of Family Relationships/Caregiving and then move on to the domains of Spirituality,
Health, Finances/Legal, and Lifestyle (housing/leisure/travel).