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  • Dana Denis-Smith, Founder and CEO, Obelisk, UK

    By current estimates, I have yet to reach the half-point of my life. By my own family’s longevity, this also seems like it could be an accurate lifetime for me (without wanting to tempt fate, I certainly hope to live a long and happy life). And yet, in my professional life, I seem to have behaved the way millennials are often described – I started work immediately after A-levels, went to university 3 years later when my career as a journalist started to take shape; once a graduate, I changed course and trained to become a lawyer. By the time I qualified as an English solicitor, I had already worked, studied, re-qualified and worked some more for about 12 years in total.

    I then took another turn and became an entrepreneur. Just over 5 years ago I founded Obelisk, a business centred on helping women/ parents to work at that most crucial stage – that of bringing up young families; at this time in one’s life, being able to earn flexibly around your commitments can make a huge difference to the quality of life. Whilst we all treasure financial security, we also put our children’s future and emotional security at the centre of everything we do.

    So being able to remain economically active at this moment in your work life is pretty important – not only because it allows you to continue to provide financially for the family, but it allows more involvement with the children development.

    Whilst Obelisk and my own young family are now taking much of my time, who knows what the next stage in my work life will bring. I certainly have many ideas and things I plan to do and new turns to take.

    I never thought career and life should be separated. In my view, a career is merely a collection of jobs accumulated through one’s life, each enriching you through the new skills and perspective gained in the earlier jobs. So to be looking at a longer life is a gift to be used to learn, adapt, evolve – I suppose, a way of remembering to stay human.

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The Book

In The 100-Year Life – Living and Working in an Age of Longevity, published June 2nd 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott outline the challenges and intelligent choices that all of us, of any age, need to make in order to turn greater life expectancy into a gift and not a curse. This is not an issue for when we are old but an urgent and imminent one.

Extremely well received by critics and readers alike, the book has received extensive coverage around the world.

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