Facing more years of work than you expected?
You're not alone. In every industry, Boomers are working an average 7 years longer than anybody thought they would. How can you continue to bring value, relevance and maybe even joy to your work?
Below, a few tips for remaining at the top of your game until the end of the game.
Ask For What You Need.
Technical Training: If you're a typical Boomer, one thing you need is training in new technologies: You cannot innovate, manage your time or manage the work of other people unless you master the digital tools of the workplace.
But here's the hitch. You have to ask for training because younger folks may assume you don’t want or aren’t willing to take on new tech. And you have to ask for training that works for you—things like instruction from trainers who know how Boomers learn, training that includes context, order and enough repetition, and the ergonomic aids you need to do all this comfortably. Let's be clear, Booms are tech-friendly, but they have to have training that works for people who grew up reading. Tweet This
Meetings: Meetings with younger gens have a pace and an agenda like nothing Boomers have seen before. Gen X and Millennials don’t think in linear ways like Boomers do. (That's because Booms grew up reading for hours on end, while Ms and Xers did not). For Boomers, a meeting with Millennials can feel like a free-for-all where everybody talks at once. When you meet with Ms in person or online, you have to know how to get the floor, how to use it efficiently and how to get the clarity you need.
Ask For What You Want.
Boomers were conditioned to work and wait. Rewards came in time. That rule doesn't work any more. If you want projects, positions or learning opportunities, make a request, maybe a fuss.
Are you waiting and hoping a position or opportunity wil come to you? A better idea might be to TELL SOMEBODY in a position to give it to you.
Maybe you go in with a question. "I'd like to have that (thing, whatever it is). Can we talk about a path that gets me there?" I know, it's not the Boomer way, but try it, especially if your boss is Gen X or Millennial.
See also Fourth Quarter Careers: Part One
Author, entrepreneur and generations expert Amy Lynch works with companies that want to Harness the Power of Generational Intelligence.