Gainfully Employed at 80

It is never too late to find your passion and contribute to society. Your greatest chapter in life is always waiting to be written through your heart, soul, voice, and body.

by Pete Ferguson

“Eden” is in her 80s. After taking care of her husband for many years as his health failed, the income from only one Social Security check was not enough to sustain her when he passed away.

For several years, she continued to care for others to bring a supplemental income. But when the rigors of physical demands of the work were too much, she went to LDS Employment Services near Tucson, Arizona, where she met my parents who volunteer there several hours a week as employment counselors.

For someone in their 80s, most “traditional” jobs may be out of reach. But as my father described it to me, Eden does not sleep well and flexible hours are a real asset on her side.

Eden is also a grandmother with a nurturing heart. My mom came up with the idea that Eden had the right stuff to be a mentor for struggling families. They found her a job as a crisis hotline operator.

Eden now works from her home on the late-night shift talking to young families over the phone, struggling alcoholics and others who need the wisdom and advice of someone who has “been there, done that” and has a huge heart with the desire to listen, understand, and provide tried and true wisdom.

If my family was in crisis, would I want to talk to a 25-year-old who just got their Masters Degree in Social Work, or Eden, who has a PhD in compassion, life experience, and care?

Eden’s greatest chapters in life are now written every evening as she restores hope to the hopeless, faith to the faithless, and love where hearts are left in a void.

Life only gives up on those who have given up on themselves. For those who want to stay and fight, there are still boundless opportunities which only get better with age.

What great adventures and opportunities lie in your future?

Learn: There are many soft skills each of us have which are often overlooked. If you struggle with what your soft skills are, talk to family and friends – for them your true potential is likely a lot more visible than it is to you.

Act: Research how others are making an enjoyable living using the same soft skills you have. Don’t be pinned in by traditional corporate work, expand your search to more creative options!

Share: If you’ve found that diamond in a rough job that the rest of us are having a hard time finding, share your story through a blog, or leaving a comment here or on other forums where others can learn and discover alternative ways to making each day in life count!

“Beauty comes from a life well lived. If you’ve lived well, your smile lines are in the right places.” ~ Jennifer Garner

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