While many seek to change the narrative surrounding aging, people are skeptical of the years that continuously pass by. They allow their age to defeat and discourage them, rather than empower.
Growing up, each new birthday meant a new responsibility. We could get our permit when we turned 16 and take our driver’s test six months later. Turning 18 meant we could vote. 21 meant we could legally drink alcohol. But even as those legal milestones come and go, we still look forward to the future and the years that will come. There is always something to look forward to.
In the workplace, it may be hard to see younger generations come and disrupt the norms that have already been established. You may find the iGeneration has strengths where you have weaknesses. But, isn’t this a good thing? After all, you have one of the most valuable things that no younger person can have – experience.
Experience immediately gives you an advantage in the workplace, and far beyond that as well.
Be a Mentor
Whenever I begin a new job or join a new organization, I always turn to those older than I am. I seek a friendly face in the crowd – a face that knows the company or club well and can take me under their wing.
There is something comforting in befriending someone with wisdom and experience. The younger generation is always itching to learn, and who better to learn from than the masters?
If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, be a mentor for a younger member of your team. Who do you wish you had when you first entered the workplace decades ago? Or, did you have a mentor of your own when you were beginning your career? Either way, be the person you wish you had to guide you through your career. Younger generations will be eternally grateful.
Be a Leader
Depending on how long you’ve been with a company or in an industry, you probably have a boatload of knowledge. Share this with your colleagues and peers.
It may be easy to think you cannot speak up or give advice to someone who may hold a higher position than you, especially if he or she is younger than you. However, don’t let age or titles hold you back. If you have a different solution to a problem or particular insight that only you hold because of the length of your career, be sure to share it. With age comes knowledge, and oftentimes, that knowledge is only unique to you.
Members of younger generations will be so thankful for the help and wisdom they’ve received. When I enter the workforce in six months, I am going to be looking for intelligent men and women like you – men and women who have become masters in their craft. I am going to look up to you and admire the day that I become just like you.
Have you used your age and experience to help others in the workplace? Share your story with us, we would love to listen!
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Whether you are an avid TWE reader or first time downloader, a member of the iGeneration or on the brink of retirement, my hope is that through this eBook you can discover what matters most to you in life and and time to appreciate it all.