Are you a baby boomer that still has a passion for working? Do you like to keep your mind and body stimulated with the tasks involved with being in the workforce? Does age or society try to dictate that it’s time to retire, yet your heart says otherwise? If this sounds like you, then you are a baby boomer in good company; a Gallup poll revealed just about half of all boomers who are coming up on retirement age don’t plan to retire until closer to age 66. This number is up from 61, the average age boomers typically say they will retire. The good news is baby boomers are seasoned professionals who are wanted and needed. Let’s look at 4 qualities baby boomers bring to the workforce.
Many companies are experiencing firsthand the drastic knowledge vacuum that occurs when their baby boomers begin to retire. Institutional knowledge is difficult to replace. Newcomers may know the basic skills of the job, but who has been around to see the transformation of industries? Boomers have gained wisdom from the many years of working various positions. Andrew Pena, assistant vice president for human resources at New Mexico State University stated, “If you don’t do something proactively today, you’re going to be stuck with employees who know basic tasks but don’t have that institutional knowledge.” Baby boomers bring to the table a whole plethora of knowledge.
Baby boomers have seen a lot of changes in their lifetime. They have lived history, and they bring a wealth of experience for any employer. Having worked so many years, their experience is often broad.
Strong Work Ethic
Boomers are perceived as “old-fashioned” by the younger generation, but a strong work ethic prevails – boomers get the job done. One report referred to boomers as being “wired for work,” and as having a “hard-charging work ethic and drive to get ahead may make it difficult for them to envision downshifting.”
Their strong work ethic definitely seems to impact their engagement at work. When Gallup conducted its survey, it was interesting to discover that boomers who planned on working past the age of 65 were actually more engaged at work than any other generation with the exception of traditionalists (born 1900-1945).
Ability To Mentor
Seasoned professionals that know the ins and outs of the business are in just the position to serve as a mentor to the inexperienced. The mentor relationship is highly valuable to all people involved. The newcomer has an experienced, knowledgeable guide to help him or her navigate the waters of a new career. This reduces mistakes, accelerates growth, and increases confidence. Additionally, the mentor (baby boomer) reinforces his or her work knowledge by teaching it to someone else. The boomer’s sense of purpose is expanded through helping another person also. The company wins too because the inexperienced person will need less help from a manager and, as said previously, makes fewer mistakes.
General Motors saw the value of using their older employees as mentors; they launched an online mentor portal. The new program gives older employees an opportunity to be matched with a new employee and a new employee may search for an experienced employee.
Baby boomers take heart because your skills, experience, knowledge, and strong work ethic are valuable to employers. A quality staffing agency will assess your skill and knowledge base and match you with an employer who values your unique abilities. At Bishop & Company, we have decades of experience creating fabulous opportunities for the seasoned professional who still has the passion to work. If you have been thinking about extending your career past retirement age, we would love to talk to you. We have a network of connections from our many years in the business. Contact us today to discover your next job!