If you’re a Boomer, you know the rules of work have changed. Companies no longer drive your career forward for you. If your career stalls, it’s on you. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good. It’s not over ‘til it’s over. As a Boomer, you can reinvigorate your work for a fast, final lap of your career. Below, a couple of the behaviors you have to develop in order to remain relevant at work.
Gig Your Work and Work Your Gig.
Recognize the project-like nature of your work, inside or outside a firm. No job comes with guarantees or security these days. Your career depends on identifying a goal that has value to you and to your employer, getting get buy-in, and achieving that goal.
Forget loyalty as you knew it. Focus on value instead. Have you identified the high-value project or solution you can lead or contribute to? Do you have skills that make you indispensable? Who do you need to talk with to determine the answers?
Tend Your Net.
The safety nets Boomers once thought would be there in retirement are gone. You have to build your own.
Net One: Social Media. Use it for news about your industry, to connect w/ younger colleagues on your team, to provide insight and value to others, to build professional juice.
Net Two: Information. Read Fast Company, Wired, HBR, the thought leaders in your industry. Talk about those ideas online and at work. Knowledge really is power. The 20-something in the next cubicle thinks you're a dinosaur. Surprise him.
Net Three: Broadcast. Humility doesn’t get us what it used to. Safety lies in letting others know what you accomplish.
Net Four: Digital Relationships. Connecting online/onscreen means retraining your Boomer brain to react to onscreen stimulus as if the relationship is in person. That’s easier than you might think, and it opens new doors.
See Also: Fourth Quarter Careers: Part Two
President of Generational Edge, Amy Lynch has written and spoken about the generations for 15 years. She has spoken to 100s of groups from MTV and Comcast to Boeing, J&J and the staff of the U.S. Senate. Amy has been quoted in national publications, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune and NBC Evening News, among others.