Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News

Life after the corporate ladder – Yorkshire businesswoman launches online platform for "unretired" high-fliers

22 May 2018 by Sandy Welsh

Yorkshire businesswoman Victoria Tomlinson has launched an online membership platform for people leaving executive careers. Next-Up helps “unretirees” to find paid and unpaid roles, sharing the experience of peers for inspiration and tips

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Victoria Tomlinson, CEO, Next-Up

A former director of EY in London, Victoria Tomlinson founded Next-Up after 30 years as the CEO of Northern Lights, a communications agency operating in the UK and the UAE. She says, “Over the last four years we have helped around 100 individuals and that triggered the realisation there is a real need here. Typically, it started with writing a LinkedIn profile and went on to helping them with everything from starting a business or consultancy to finding speaking opportunities and helping charities.”

Next-Up is the result of months of intensive research into the market, including interviews with senior business figures who plan to carry on working in retirement, and commissioned research with more than 1000 people aged over 55.

The research found that retired over-55s are motivated by purpose and relevance not status and money and almost a third want to continue using their skills into retirement.

Next-Up has online resources and provides ideas and guidance on what recent retirees can do next, helping them to re-work existing skills to take on fulfilling paid and unpaid roles after they leave full-time careers.

Tomlinson says, “We have worked with dozens of executives who retired without a plan for their next step – they were so busy working they did not have time even to think about this. At work they have been surrounded by teams to help them – now we provide help with ideas, new skills and practical support to make their plan happen. Anything from building a website and writing blogs to networking to win business. We’re creating a community where they can find like-minded people and opportunities suited to their skills and stage of life.”

Next-Up has been supported in shaping its membership model and services by a heavyweight advisory board of 20 leaders from private, public and voluntary sectors.