As an older worker in today’s labor and employment world, you have to be ready for anything that comes your way. What worked yesterday probably won’t work today. As a matter of fact, what might not work tomorrow is YOU.
As successful as you’ve been over the years, things change rapidly and you need to be able to pivot in an instant. You need to be able to anticipate changes and/or quickly adjust once change comes. This is no easy feat.
What follows is a laundry list of Tips For Older Workers that I hope you’ll find helpful.
• Stay up on the latest technology. It seems like a new version of an old smartphone hits the market faster than a politician’s name uttered on the news these days. Spend some time reading owner’s manuals, viewing YouTube videos, or asking your younger family members about those technological advances that continually stump you.
• Read what the young folks read. While this might cause a headache and chronic eye-rolling, keeping up with what’s hip, trending, and popular won’t hurt you. That said, it might be best to just listen and understand rather than try to come across as too cool. The choice is yours.
• Learn how to use Social Media - Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you do this, you’ll also be able to do what’s suggested in the bullet point above.
• Hang out with the people you work with. That social hour after work might be a great opportunity for you to connect with the people on your team. Be conscious of the amount of time you spend there and be cognizant of your conduct at all time. Be wise.
• Connect with your peers at the workplace and away from work. If you as an older worker feel something as it relates to your age at your workplace, chances are your same-aged co-workers feel it too. But, some things can be tough to discuss at work. So, having a group of same-aged friends that work elsewhere provides a safe-zone to discuss anything that concerns you.
• Become a historian. If you have a long history within a company or can be described as “wise to ways” within a specific industry, why not put together a quick history lesson about it and share it with your work group. Once you do, expect people to seek you out for advice and watch your level of leadership grow as a result.
• Plan for the possibility of getting cut. When we were young, trying out for a youth sports team and getting cut meant we could come back next year and try again. But as an older worker, you just never know how many more tryouts are coming. That said, it might be a good idea to review those original goals you had regarding early or forced retirement and make plans to flip the switch as needed. Preparation is the key.
• Feed your hobby. Maintaining the work/life balance is important. Do activities that keep you feeling good about life.
• Find your side gig. If you’ve ever started a sentence with the words, “Someday I’ll start a business.” maybe it is high time you did something about it. Commit to five minutes per day to work on your “side-hustle” and see what happens once you get fully engaged in it or when you get laid off.
• Keep the family and friends informed. While some people tend to internalize everything that’s going on inside of them, you may wish to consider how and how often you communicate with family and friends. When’s the last time you communicated with someone using that good, old-fashioned method of the spoken word?
• Leverage your available resources. Finally, if you do in fact receive a severance and release letter from your company, be sure to check out the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 might be useful too.
Older workers bring exceptional value to any workplace and this can benefit organizations that recognize their worth. I hope these tips for older workers help you as you continue to make a significant positive impact on the job.
Please feel free to share any Tips For Older Workers below.
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