Carleen MacKay is all 'work' and no 'job'


Carleen MacKay always chuckles when someone quips, “you’re still working at your age?” We won’t even mention Carleen’s age here but suffice to say she left age 50 in a cloud of dust.

I interviewed Carleen recently and her infectious energy jumped right out of the phone receiver.

“I use the word ‘work’ not jobs,” she said. “Work is what you do, it’s about being purposeful, and it has meaning.”

“Work,” according to Carleen is not slowed down by age.

Equally comfortable talking to a person of any age, Carleen spreads the gospel of “no limitations” to anyone who wants to get the most mileage out of life. For example, she points out; teens who are graduating from high school sometimes have a narrow view of their future in terms of careers and level of personal satisfaction.

“I tell students to do what they love. Identify your passion but link it to market needs,” Carleen said. “If you want to be a teacher or nurse, follow the market.” Ascertaining the consumer needs associated with a specific profession is imperative; it’s a blueprint for success.

A much sought-after speaker and trainer, Carleen has some cogent advice for teachers and providers when it comes to motivating young people.

“We all love something. Start the conversation with what matters to them,” she said.

And what about intergenerational connections? Two words immediately come to mind.

“Cross mentoring! I have something to learn from the teens and they have something to learn from me," Carleen said. "For example, when I bought my I Phone my granddaughter helped me set it up.”

For Carleen, everyone is a winner in an intergenerational relationship. Young people benefit from the wisdom and experience of older adults who have lived through the peaks and valleys of life, both on a professional and personal level. In other words, if you were an athlete, you’d want Carleen on the sidelines.

Look for Part II of my interview with Carleen MacKay, coming soon.

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