Dress code: from clothing to coding — how to age in style
Find out how to craft and shape your job and style as you age. FT fashion editor Jo Ellison and careers author Anita Hoffmann join Claer Barrett, editor of our hub Next Act, and FT money mentor Lindsay Cook to explain how to expand your skills, and your wardrobe.
Produced by Jill Wrenn. Studio filmed by Nicola Stansfield and Petros Gioumpasis.
Today, the theme of our discussion is all about reinventing yourself. And our big talking point-- what to wear once you've turned 60? The FT's fashion editor Jo Ellison has been taking inspirations from Hollywood style icons and indeed her own grandmother arguing in her latest column that later life is the time to really nail your signature look.
And if you're ready for a new look, then how about a new job? Anita Hoffmann, the author of a new book about second careers, says that workers today should be prepared to work in two or three different careers throughout their working lives. Do you have the skills and indeed the contacts needed to make the switch?
And Lindsay Cook, our Money Mentor columnist, has been finding out how digital skills could be the key to landing that next job. Some people would say, well, why would you have to dress any differently once you're in your 60s or 70s? And that's why I wanted you to write about this subject, because I do think it's a bit of a touchy subject-- whether you're too old or too young.
The idea that you reach 60 and then reinvent yourself as this whole new persona is a kind of waste of whatever's gone before. I'm hoping that you've been sufficiently confident to have started that work a long, long time ago. And when you get to 60, you're like this fully articulated expression that journey that you were on. So I'm less keen on the idea of reinvention. But what I'm very keen on is that I do have the confidence to be the person that you feel that you've been working towards all your life.
We're going to talk a bit more now about how many people in their 50s, 60s, and beyond are finding that they need to reinvent not just their look but that career to get on in the world of work. Anita Hoffman has written this book which I have on my lap, Purpose and Impact-- how professionals can find a second career. Now, Anita, tell us a bit about yourself first. You're in executive search, which is about your second or third career move, and that's what inspired you to write this book.
Yes. So I'm in executive search and coaching, and that's my third career. I started out as an executive in the chemical industry and then decided to have a mid-life crisis at 42 and became a management consultant.
Well, that can be forgiven.
As they say. And then I realised I actually was more interested in helping other people succeed than being the boss of the person out in front.
And then your fourth career as an author-- basically, the book is based on interviews with more than 50 clients who you have helped move from one career to a completely different one-- most of them in later life, some of them struggling after redundancy-- finding a bit of a shock to be back in the jobs market and that the skills that they had weren't really compatible with what today's employees necessarily wanted.
Why I interviewed a lot of people was because I wanted to see if there was a pattern how people switched careers with a kind of-- how do you say-- less a cliff edge change and rather pivoted elegantly over somewhere else. And that's what the book is about.
Now, Lindsay, you've written about Anita's book for nextact.com, which is our new online portal on FT.com. One of the aspects of Anita's book that you really liked was how people can try and shape their existing job with a view to how they might transition into a future career.
Yes. Anita's cause is job crafting--
It's an HR term, yes.
And it essentially means, if your job's getting a bit stodgy, what element do you like? What in society do you want to change? Are you're interested in, say, sustainability? Some years ago, I was very interested in flexible working, and I--
Which is really only a modern phenomenon in the workplace.
And I got involved in a charity. And to justify the time I was spending going to meetings, I put it to the company that it will be better for them and actually we could demonstrate that it was cost efficient.
Now, there are all sorts of things that-- if you are job crafting, you're trying a new interest. It's got to be something that works for the company as well. It can't just be something you say, oh, I only want to work three days. I'm never going to Germany again on my sales pitches.
Or meetings-- banning meetings.
Yes, exactly. It's got to be something that's compatible. Sometimes you might do it by reducing your working life down to a four day week and starting a new business if it's not compatible with your work, but it helps you to get ready for your next life. Because too many people-- I think Anita demonstrated. Too many people, it suddenly-- can you come and see the boss? Oops. We should plan ahead.
Thanks for joining us. We'll be back soon. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Jo Ellison Anita Hoffmann, and Lindsay Cook. You can read all of their articles and more on our content hub, FT.com/nextact.