Retired and older workers can boost their income by sharing their expertise with the next generation – keeping active through a new career mentoring platform.
Hailed as the equivalent for career mentoring as Airbnb is for holiday lets and Uber is for self-employed drivers, Career Navig8r restores a sense of purpose for people who have stopped doing a job they love.
Career Navig8r aims to give people a ‘career encore’, providing a sense of purpose post-retirement and ensuring their experience is used to help someone else.
Founder Ken Glynn, of Bettystown, County Meath, in Ireland, says he’d seen his dad lose his motivation and zest for life once he retired.
Then, when his sister gave up her career to raise children, he saw the same thing. Once proud, loud motivated people who were hungry for success, became less engaged and less motivated as they spent longer out of work and less time engaging their brains.
Ken said: “It’s fair to say we are disrupting mentoring at work but we’re actually much more than disruptors. Our mentoring platform – that allows mentees to meet mentors, arrange meetings and hold meetings – is coming to fruition after months of hard work. This is a mentoring platform where people who have done well can share their know-how with people who want to do well. In the same role or industry.
“We’re creating a new marketplace that matches lived experience and expertise with people who are hungry for that wisdom as they take their first steps on the career ladder. The beauty of it is that it’s simple – whether you’re the mentor or the mentee.
“Imagine on your first day in your important new management job, you realise how useful support from someone who’s excelled in the same role with relevant experience and evidence to back it up would be – that’s what we are making possible.
“For too long there’s been the idea that you had to be a super high achiever to be a mentor, that’s not always the case. Career Navig8r is built for anyone who wants to mentor. You just need to have done something to a decent standard – and be able to teach others how and why you did it.
“Many people no longer want a traditional retirement, they want to continue to be vibrant, to feel important, to stay sharp and be of value to their network and we’re making it happen.”
Career Navig8r’s platform allows mentors to register and create their profile and listings. Mentees then search the database to find someone perfectly suited to their needs.
A House of Lords committee found that a wave of early retirement for professionals aged over 50 since the Covid pandemic had caused a huge labour shortage.
“We understand how isolating it can feel when you have left a job you adored and want to continue a rewarding role in society,” Ken said.
“For the over 50s and anyone closing a chapter on a career, it allows for a ‘career encore’. This platform allows experience and skills to be shared and further developed by the world – rather than being lost.
“The same can be said for parents who have left the workforce but would like to stay connected, earn money and make a difference.”
Ken said: “This means mentees will get role specific, practical advice, not coaching or general advice.
“Our mentors have a wealth of knowledge about how they have succeeded. Now they can get paid for sharing that knowledge, without worrying about having to mentor people who are going to ask them questions outside of their knowledge base. They’ll be mentoring people who want to do what they’ve done. All their challenges and learnings will be relevant.
“The first eight weeks of any job role are critical. What if, sitting on your shoulder, throughout this time, was someone to guide you through each challenge, giving you the best possible start?
“This is guidance that, put simply, will accelerate your career in both the short and long term. For this role. And any future roles.”
The mentor scheme is not only for those who are retired, it can also be for those who have taken a career break, for example to raise a family, and can also offer the opportunity for ‘reverse mentoring’ where younger workers help older workers with upskilling and reskilling.
Ken added: “This is a new and brilliant opportunity for people with a wealth of experience to make more money and boost their income by sharing their passion and expertise for a role they have lived and loved.
“It’s a hugely positive step – we would never suggest that everyone loses a sense of purpose as they get older, but for those who have retired and no longer feel valued in a professional sense, it can be an enriching experience to be welcomed back in a supportive role as a mentor.”
All the mentoring sessions can be carried out remotely, meaning someone in London could be mentored by an expert in their chosen field in New Delhi, for instance.
Ken also runs a company offering leadership development through training and coaching, but he saw there was often not an exact match between those looking for advice and those ready to give it.
He wanted to help people like his father and sister so built a more role-specific mentoring platform that gives mentees the exact advice they need.
The platform is now live and initially targeting those in the IT and Tech industries, although anyone can sign up as a mentor.