This post is brought to you by guest blogger Judy Feld.
There are 78 million people in the Boomer generation (born 1946-1964). 2011 is the year the oldest Boomers are turning 65—and career choices remain of paramount importance! Does this mean they are going to retire (or want to)? Not anymore. Can they count on keeping their jobs or get new ones? Not anymore. However, Boomers have resilience, resourcefulness and options. And Boomers have coaches.
Boomers may lose their jobs, but not their experience and wisdom. I’m advocating a point of view that transcends the “Boomer Bubble”—my term for the insular boomer-only world view that ceased to serve us well many years ago.
Whether our coaching is focused on careers or some other niche or specialty, if we have Boomer clients coaches need to understand how their (our?) world has changed and adapt our coaching approach to the needs of these clients. Boomers may lose their jobs, but not their experience and wisdom. Coaches focus on clients’ assets, choices, actions–and, above all, strategies.
As we look toward a future that is uncertain and complex, we can identify some clearly valuable traits and recognize the benefits of being flexible, adaptable, accepting of new technology, and good at learning new skills. The traits that will help us all thrive, in both the workplace and within the family, are acceptance of change, the ability to solve problems independently…and flexibility. Each of us can take some steps to improve our own “mental youthfulness”, at any age.
It is not an easy time for Boomers and their careers, but the components of successful strategies that will bring rewarding work well into old age (whatever that means) are certainly within reach. I am often asked about the work I do–by clients, students, colleagues, and business leaders–and I often find myself responding, “This is the best job I ever had.”
Judy Feld is the program director of a solution-oriented coach training program in the School of Management at UTDallas. You can contact her here: Judith.Feld@utdallas.edu