Are you R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T?

Aug 25, 2014

Woman Boomer In OfficeInsurance trade publication Insurance Business America recently carried an article headlined: “Are Baby Boomers doomed to irrelevance in the workplace?”

My answer: A resounding “NO!”

I’ve written elsewhere about demographic trends. Steve Kayser, author of “The Greatest Words You’ve Never Heard,” picks up on this type of data to support his point that “many older Americans may have little choice but to adapt their mindset and survive longer in their careers if they want to maintain something resembling their current lifestyle during retirement.”

Kayser also makes a couple of points worth repeating:

Learning is paramount. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” This quote from Alvin Toffler was cited in the article.

Be R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T. Kayser’s acronym stands for:

  • Risk
  • Experiment
  • Listen and Learn
  • Engage
  • Value
  • Attitude of gratitude
  • No to negativity

A message like this from Kayser is one I’ve found to be important for people as they move toward and past the traditional retirement age: Adapt, be flexible, look for opportunities, and tap what you know to expand the value you can provide in the workplace.

Just because someone is aging does not mean they cannot change or provide value in the workforce. But it’s up to the worker to be proactive and help create the changes that will provide the value.

What is one change you’ve had to make to adapt?

— Sharon Emek, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE)


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