In the cycle of life, we round the corner into the era of an “aging” workforce. We have been here before, and we will return here, again and again. This lifecycle affects companies, small and large, and employees at every level of their careers. So, whatever role you play at whichever stage of your career, this is a history lesson for here and now.
Lesson 1: People Retire, Talent Thrives
With experienced employees reaching retirement, companies lose rich resources from the day-to-day goings on. Companies can still tap the talent. Many retirees wish to spend time with colleagues and enjoy the stimulation of work. Also, they have earned a balance that includes more leisure time. So, consider the flexibility of consulting. Retirees are the perfect pinch-hitters for projects that need extra person-power. The pool of experience is a ready resource for varying demand.
And, if you are one of those entering retirement, and you wish to keep a toe in the workforce, offer your skills as a consultant. For employees still circling the water cooler, keeping in touch with exiting colleagues is a great way to have a comrade to whom you can turn for advice.
Lesson 2: Build Bridges
Companies and individuals can benefit from mentorship bonds within the organization or within the community. The mentor-mentee relationship promotes understanding, and leads to mutual investment in success. Often, these relationships flourish beyond the work environment. If your company doesn’t have a mentor program, reach out and set up your own network. Select a teacher if you are just beginning, choose a protégé if you are more tenured.
When nearing retirement, thwart resentment toward career beginners, especially if nurturing hurt from falling short of personal goals. Be mindful of your personal motivations. Make peace with your self. When one is okay with one’s self, there is no need to make another wrong.
Throughout a blossoming career, it is wise to learn from those who have blazed the path before, even while making your own mark. Be respectful. Open your mind to the possibility that, even though you may “know it all,” there are still some treasures to be found. One gentleman posted this for all to learn: Everyone has an Opinion; Judgment is from Experience.
Lesson 3: Stay In Touch
No matter what stage in your career, it is vital to stay current with trends, innovations, and technology. Embracing new ways of doing things keeps talent fresh. Cross-pollinating industry ideas spawns inventiveness. When entering the workforce, while advancing in the workforce, and as one gets ready to depart the workforce, do not leave “learning” behind.
There are creative ways to accomplish this. Companies can encourage learning in many ways, one of the most efficient being on-site seminars. Employees can inspire educational programs by working with HR or launching “brown bag” lunch events. Here is an opportunity to enlist the senior staff members to give presentations in order to share their expertise. And, newbies can find presentation experience by researching and lecturing about a topic. Sharpen the pencil, the wit, the mind and feed the soul of an ever wiser organization.
Lesson 4: Work Today & Plan for Tomorrow
One of the most helpful benefits a company can offer in support of retirement is the 401k. With or without matching funds, the 401k brings mindfulness to saving, and makes it easy.
If one is fortunate enough to have enlisted in a program early in one’s career, one will find a nice nest egg to support their dreams after the “9 to 5” gig. And, there is a world of opportunity for both work and play in the after-retirement-life.
Lesson 5: While Talent is Tops, Character Commands
At any age, kindness, wisdom, honesty, loyalty, perseverance combined with ability will be the meter of our life’s work. As the world’s children learn the pillars of character at home and at school, adults should further develop and encourage mindfulness of virtue ~ especially as ethics are challenged in an increasingly competitive world.
Companies can encourage truthfulness, respect, fairness, caring, responsibility, citizenship, and other virtues through business practices, policy, and by annually rewarding such behavior and the person who personifies character through the course of business. Employees can bring these qualities to every facet of their lives. Let the best of you rule you.
Got questions? Got comments? Let me know. Live well and live in peace.
Tamara Parisio is a freelance writer and an entrepreneur. With a blended perspective from Journalism, Advertising, Toys, Giftware, Entertainment, Real Estate, and Beauty, to family life and personal interests, Tamara reflects upon her experiences to provide hope filled musings on beauty and wellness, business and living for people of all ages.