There's a growing number of mature students who want and need to re-skill in response to transitions in their lives
After losing his job as a newspaper journalist, Amit switched careers and retrained as a community college teacher.
His background in communications stood him in good stead when teaching increasingly important skills such as collaborative problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
He was struck by the growing number of mature students who wanted and needed to re-skill in response to transitions in their lives. In particular, these changes were causing some students anxiety as they perceived education as a young person’s game.
He found that skills he had honed over the years as a journalist and then teacher, such as social perceptiveness and the ability to convey complex ideas in an understandable way, were very useful in advising mature students.
Amit recognised that this was only the tip of the iceberg:
Longer healthier lives and changes to pension age and the notion of retirement were disrupting the classic three stage view of life: education, work and then retirement
In its place is a set of unsettled questions: How can individuals develop productive assets when most education occurs in their 20s? How can they protect the value of these assets over the next 60 years against a backdrop of profound structural change? How can they balance the financial need for an extended working life against other important goals, such as family, health and friendships?
Some individuals have seized the opportunities presented by these questions to explore who they are and how they want to lead their lives; however, others have found them overwhelming, anxious they might make the wrong choices or break social taboos.
Amit began to work with these individuals – helping them to imagine possible future selves and think through their implications for sequencing a multi-staged life.
Amit has taken self-directed training courses in applied philosophy and ethics as well as reflective practices to enrich the advice that he is able to give to clients. This support has extended to end of life issues which remain among the most traumatic events that individuals and loved ones face.
The old adage that there are no atheists in foxholes may be an exaggeration, but Amit has discovered that the search for meaning or purpose or value, remains central to many individuals. This is especially true as the increasingly complex and technical aspects of health care have narrowed what services are available. Amit is proud that his work has gone some way to filling this gap.
Education and training (K), oral comprehension (S), social perceptiveness (S), written comprehension (S), reading comprehension (S), customer and personal service (K), philosophy and theology (K), oral expression (S), speaking (S), complex problem solving (A).