Staying Relevant in the Workplace: a Guide for Baby Boomers

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Baby Boomers are currently the fastest growing job filling segment. This is because a large number of Millennials are choosing non-traditional career paths that allow them to work for themselves. As a result, employers are finding it tough to fill job vacancies. While this is hard on employers, it is beneficial to Boomers who want to stay in the workforce as they tend to be highly qualified job candidates.

Boomers are Qualified Job Candidates, But They Need to Remain Relevant

Most Baby Boomers don’t have issue with being qualified for positions. However, it’s important that Boomers remain relevant. The combination of relevancy and talent will give Boomers an edge in the workplace.

Kay Wakeham, Baby Boomer and contributor to LinkedIn, wrote,

The most important step you (as a Boomer) can take is to make sure you are still relevant. Even if you just want to stay in your current position, you need to stay relevant. In fact, everyone, even Millennials, should be continuously learning.”

3 Ways for Baby Boomers to Stay Relevant in the Workplace

Wakeman encouraged Boomers and Millennials alike to stay relevant to employers by…

  • Educating themselves about the future of the workplace. Accenture.com, mckinsey.com, and deloitte.com are good sources for articles related to this topic.
  • Gaining skills in analytics, innovation, collaboration, digital literacy, and critical thinking.
  • Get and stay active on LinkedIn.

Challenging Boomer-Directed Stereotypes in the Workplace

Part of staying relevant to employers is challenging the stereotypes some may have toward Baby Boomers. Millennials, who have been called lazy, narcissistic workers, aren’t the only generation with judgements against them. Some regard Boomers as having a low ability to be adaptable and collaborative. Boomers can prove employers who hold these beliefs wrong by seeking out opportunities to work as part of team. Since corporate presence is a strength of many Baby Boomers, offering to head up a team or committee may be fitting.

Why Baby Boomers Need Two-Way Mentorships

Mentors in the workplace aren’t just for newbies — they can also be helpful to Boomers who want to stay relevant. Finding a tech-savvy mentor will help an older-generation worker learn IT skills that are critical to becoming a competitive candidate. “Likewise, young workers often are seeking a mentor too that can make up for the business experience and life knowledge that they lack,” wrote a contributor to the Huffington Post. Two-way mentorship result sare win-win for Boomers who need tech skills and Millennials who need leadership skills.  

Are you a Baby Boomer who wants to remain relevant to employers? If so, you should:

  • Learn about the future of the workforce
  • Gain skills that are becoming increasingly relevant
  • Stay active on LinkedIn
  • Seek out team projects
  • Find a mentor/be a mentor

Which of these relevancy-building actions do you need to take?

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