Equal opportunity ambition…..

My professional accounting body recently sent me an e-mail which included a section dedicated to somebody who was “young and ambitious”.

Excuse me?

Since when has being young been a requirement to be ambitious? I don’t recall any such newsletter highlighting someone who is old and ambitious.

It is interesting to note that Lord Sugar’s sidekick on “The Apprentice”, Nick Hewer, is suggesting a new variation on the reality business show. Following on from “Young Apprentice” and “Junior Apprentice” he believes that the time is ripe for “OAP Apprentice”. It would be interesting to see how the participants of this show would handle the challenges compared to what we have become used to since the programme first hit our screens.

Ambition comes in many forms. Maybe once it was a career of achievement in a salaried role that was sustainable for thirty or forty years. Nowadays it can be the establishment of a successful small or medium sized business or even a series of them. It can be the creation of a social enterprise. It can be the development of a life changing product or service.

Enterprise Britain certainly relies upon those who see ambition as something more than climbing the greasy career pole. The desire to create, grow, develop and innovate is more likely to provide the jobs and wealth than any push to gain the keys to the executive washroom.

The fact is that for most of us a comfortable retirement at around 60 is no longer an option. There seems to be a state sponsored push for retirement at 70 and beyond. Comfortable salaried life for many people is ending in their forties if indeed it is starting at all. The current economic climate is accelerating the process. There is simply no excuse for anybody not finding new ambitions to drive them forward and keep active for as long as they are able to be.

So professional accounting body there is no “young” in ambitious. Being ambitious is a statement of mind not of age. Anybody and everybody should be thinking of their next goal and how to achieve it. Equal opportunity ambition for all!

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