We recently covered Gracefully Radio, conceived of by longtime public radio commentator and author Lisa Napoli. Gracefully aims to show, through the stories we share, that while aging is inevitable, how we deal with it is a choice.
Lisa interviewed Next For Me founder Jeff Tidwell last month and this week published the interview and story.
Below are excerpts from the conversation.
On being an older worker in tech:
JT: I started noticing very subtle things or situations where I was dismissed when in other years I was at the center of the conversations. My place in the world had changed. Just not being heard in professional situations.
I think one of the threads through this is that we don’t admit it or feel it. I was always the young guy in a crowd of younger people.
I thought I was vital and au courant and knew the latest music and could communicate with people decades younger than me. Then it hit all of a sudden – My place in the world was not a strong as it used to be.
LP: As a person with a history of political activism how are you approaching this problem?
JT: When there is discrimination it’s not intentional and unconscious much of the time. It’s systematically built into workplace systems. Our companies are not built for people to work longer and save enough for retirement. It needs to change in the workplace.
With Next For Me, we’ve zoomed in on two topics – work and finance. Topics that people inherently don’t want to confront easily. They’re sensitive about it. They’re embarrassed about it. How do you talk about this without it being a bummer? It’s because it can be positive and empowering to say that we can change the workplace to make it more welcoming to us.
Workplaces can become more open to the idea that there’s value in wisdom. Experience can help in collaboration – here’s an easier way to react. There’s value in that.
And for older workers like me, we need to get out of our rut. There’s something learn from younger colleagues – things that have changed while we got stuck in doing things they way we have been doing them. Even our attitudes can often use an upgrade.
Link to full article and podcast: What’s Next For You? Jeff Tidwell’s Asking That Question For Us All