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“Dying ain’t much of a living”

May 8, 2013

boomer interviewThis post was originally going the musical route with Mick and the boys, early into their “50 & Counting” tour, and a lighthearted discussion of how the band-mates are working well into their 60’s and 70’s… Then I read this article about rising suicide rates among baby boomers… The recession of 2008, then years of unemployment and economic hopelessness are cited as contributing factors. Having some experience with hopelessness and suicide, that stopped the music pretty fast. I see plenty of articles like Why The Economy Needs Boomers To Work Past 70, but I also know many boomers are among the long-term unemployed. It’s a scary thought, so I gave it some, and came up with a few tips on staying employed in tech as a boomer. I did find a good list of 25 Ways to Stay Employed, but most of mine aren’t there. Anyway…

  • get relevant – this is the lifelong learner thing. Read. If you don’t understand how cloud, big data, mobile, and social technologies are impacting business, there’s this thing called the internet where you can find out.
  • get versatile – Gartner analyst Diane Morello describes a versatilist as “a staffer with enough multifaceted expertise – across business, technology and inter-personal skills – to handle several areas of responsibility at once.” Organizations are very flat. The broader your skillset, the more employable you are.
  • get social – Are you on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook? No? You’re not into that social media stuff? Oh, OK. Nevermind.
  • get open – Your mind, that is. If you’re stuck in the thinking of the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, or even 2012, you’ll stay stuck.
  • get busy – One of my former bosses/mentors, and current friend paid me the best compliment ever as an employee when she said, “you get shit done.” Oh, are you tired? Suck it up. I’m trying to improve in this area. Yesterday I worked all day, fertilized the back 40, painted the bathroom in my man-cave, then went to the gym at 8PM.
  • get fit – I can’t help being an “old man,” as my grand-daughter calls me, but I don’t have to be a fat old man. If you’re old and unfit, you’re a red light flashing “HEALTHCARE LIABILITY.”

So, those are my tips. What are yours? Oh, and here’s a link to Kronos jobs, plus that great Clint line delivered…

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ron permalink
    May 8, 2013 10:48 pm

    get relevant – I just listened to that topic at a Veterans Meeting in Taunton.

    The discussion was over a proposed state change to fund State Veteran benefits at 100%. (currently the State funds 75% and the local town funds the remaining 25%). Long range thinking suggests that if Veteran Service Officers are not “relevant” they will cease to exist.

    Nice article…


  2. May 9, 2013 2:39 pm

    Great read. The most difficult on your list is “get open”. I meet unemployed pros who still cling to attitudes from the ’90s, looking for the job they once had. My message to them: the role you had is gone; insane levels of multi-tasking and hands-on work are expected; yes, your world has become really complicated; off-shoring is here to stay. So, adapt.
    Your comments about staying fit and active are spot on.


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