The word dinosaur has so much ill will around it when discussing older workers. It’s offensive and implies a lot more than age (think sluggish and simpleminded). The term is off, for sure, but the ideas behind it should be considered. Forbes contributor Robin Ryan wrote recently about the need for Boomer workers to stay current and maintain some flexibility to be a welcome member of the workforce.
With colorful stories about those that “just won’t change” to the downright insulting expressions of “extinction” Ryan outlines the key skills and attitudes that she thinks older workers should adapt to and be aware of.
- Newer technology and social media. Facebook isn’t enough. Some older workers hesitated to get on the technology train thinking it was for fun or kids. Then technology took over the world of work. So, it’s important to stay on top of it.
- Resistance to learning new things and approaches to work. Not only will it leave you in the dust, your co-workers will become frustrated because you won’t adapt along with everybody else.
Sunny Kobe Cook, an award-winning entrepreneur and former owner of a large retail chain in the Pacific Northwest is quoted in the story with these recommendations to stay vital in your job by avoiding these behaviors.
Staying in your own peer group.
“Great leaders foster relationships and garner respect throughout the organizational chart. They know people at all levels. Up and down. Work on making more relationships.”
Don’t want to give any power away.
“You must develop people around you. Help them to get promoted. If you don’t develop them then you can’t move up yourself to the next challenge and get promoted yourself.”
Come across like I already know everything.
“Leaders embrace learning. So if you think you don’t need to go to a conference (I went to that three years ago I don’t need to go now) you are mistaken. You need to be involved with networking groups, industry lunches, and anywhere that you can go after new ideas.”
Her final positive piece of advice recommended that you could become an influencer within your organization.
Where do you fit into this conversation?
Read the original article: Baby Boomers, Don’t Be The Office Dinosaur
Robin Ryan covers Baby Boomer careers, job search and pre-retirement topics for Forbes. She is the author of eight career books including: 60 Second & You’re Hired, Retirement Reinvention, Winning Resumes and Over 40 & You’re Hired. You can find out more about her at RobinRyan.com
Photo by: Mike Procario on Flickr