For Boomers, the workplace like they used to know has changed. Competition is fierce and can even be quite scary. In the past, seniority and experience played a major part in who stays and who leaves the workplace. Now it’s all about who can produce the most, be flexible and change at a moment’s notice without any back talk.
With the ever changing workforce, Boomers are still working and not retiring as early as in the past. According to a Gallup survey, almost 8 in 10 of the youngest Baby Boomers (50-51) are working full-time, part-time or seeking work, a figure which declines to roughly one-third among the generation’s oldest (67-68).
Boomers are also working with or reporting to a Generation X or Y which is challenging. Sometimes they feel too old or out of of touch with what is going on.
Based on my experience with interviewing and after having discussions and interactions with Generation X’ers and Millennials, I have some insight to share.
Here are 5 tips for Boomers to show their bosses that they’ve still got it and have the pep in their step to do the job.
Make Sure Your Technology Skills Are Up-to-date
Keep your computer skills up-to-date and if you are feeling challenged, ask your kids or grandkids or even take a class. Try not to ask anyone at work if you can help it, or else you may get the reputation of not being up-to-date with your computer skills.
I once worked with someone who was making $50 an hour more than I did and everyone in the office knew it. She did not even know how to turn on the computer or attach a document to an email. Everyone was upset because she was making more money and eventually no one wanted to help her. The feeling was that since she was making so much money she should have known basic computer skills. Needless to say, she didn’t last very long at the company when bosses found out she was computer illiterate which was causing disruption in the office.
Show Your Energy
There is a myth that older workers have low energy since they have gone through many work experiences and have seen it all.
Raise your enthusiasm and show that you are excited and willing to learn. Keep yourself refreshed, revitalized and happy to roll up your sleeves to participate in projects. Your motivation to succeed will project itself and boost your chances of getting ahead.
Be Engaged and Interested
Show that you are interested in others’ points of view. Listen intently and demonstrate eye contact, lean in and use short words such as, “Got it!” Stay attentive to what is going on around you and engage yourself in conversations.
Be Flexible and Adapt to Change
Sometimes things don’t go as planned at work or in life. Meetings are changed at the drop of a hat or run over time. Show you are flexible and can go with the flow. With speed as the driving force in most organizations today, not everything will run on schedule. Don’t get flustered when things change. Show that you are adaptable.
Open Up To Generational Differences
There will be times when your boss may be younger and/or less experienced than you. Stay open to receiving direction from someone younger even though you may have more experience and knowledge. There is still something to learn from the relationship. Connect and engage and find something you both have in common.
I have been in meetings where my new boss introduced a book or idea that I learned about years ago while I was at another company. Just listen, accept ideas and don’t go overboard stating that you knew about the same idea or learned about something before.
Click reply. In what ways do you still have pep in your step either at your job or in your daily life? Are you utilizing any of the tips above? Join the conversation.
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