Baby Boomers Adapt to Modern Workplace
We often say that baby boomers are facing a different retirement than their parents. Since 75 percent of people report they will continue to work beyond the average retirement age, they are confronting a modern workplace much different than they first encountered thirty or forty years ago.
Our parents (fathers) largely experienced working for the same company for the duration of their career. Many of us had the same expectation, but the time of lifetime employment is gone for most people.
With flexibility of jobs, the nature of work has also shifted. The shifts in communication and technology have finally brought the concept of telecommuting to a reality for many.
The same technology that allows for telecommuting has also been responsible for the elimination of many jobs. While factories are still not operated exclusively with robot power, machines are responsible for more work today. As technology has improved, more people are responsible for more tasks than ever before.
Lifelong learning is more important than ever. The days of going to school and then entering the world or work without updating skills is also largely gone. You are only as marketable as your updated skills. Retirement age baby boomers are confronting returning to school in order to find good jobs, or any jobs for that matter.
This leads us to the idea of pay for skills. Baby boomers who got laid off from a major corporation after twenty or thirty years of employment, not only face a skills gap, but a wage gap as well. Most long term employees who find new jobs will not be compensated as richly as they had been previously.
There will be a continued need for career planning even into your sixties and maybe seventies. How do you stay marketable? Where are the jobs that can use your skills? What skills do you need to acquire? These are all questions the retirement age people will face in the future. The modern workplace has changed significantly in the last forty years and there isn’t anything that leads us to believe it’s going to slow down anytime soon.
The modern workplace has changed. For baby boomers who are able to adapt, there is still an opportunity to contribute and succeed.