In 2021, the ‘Baby Boomers’ – folks born between 1946 and 1964 – might feel a little out of place in the current work culture.
We have all heard the horror stories about millennials in the workplace who are known to be impatient. Then you have the Gen Z’s who, unlike their millennials counterparts, are self-absorbed and tech-dependent.
And while these stereotypes are certainly not always true or the most flattering, one thing that stands out with millennials and Gen Z’s is their ability to multi-task, think outside the box, embrace technology, and their creativity. Not to mention – they often come at a lower price to hire.
Which leads to the point of this article: “Where do boomers stand in the 2021 workplace?”
Is there an advantage to being a person aged 56-74 in 2021? We think so! Today we will share the one keen advantage boomers offer in the workplace compared to their generational counterparts!
The one keen advantage boomers possess
Hypothetically, let’s say you fall in the 56-74 bracket, and you’re gearing up for an interview at a new company. What can you offer to the company that the younger generations of X’s, Y’s, and Z’s can not?
Your leadership ability.
As a boomer, you might fall short as it pertains to technology or the ability to multi-task, but experience in terms of leadership is second to none! Let’s elaborate.
Boomers offer leadership
Leadership is more coveted in the workplace than ever before.
Years ago, you did what you were told, and that was it. However, with the inception of the internet, review systems, and social media, authoritarian leadership styles are quickly fading out.
Companies across the country recognize that they need solid leadership to help manage people and get things done to turn a profit! Boomers offer leadership skills, having seen countless scenarios, experienced many changes, and adapted to every new trend over the years!
Whether it’s motivating others or leading by example, boomers offer one distinct advantage that the younger generations can’t offer at a high level – and that is leadership.
That said, leadership comes in a few forms…
Leadership is spelled E X P E R I E N C E
Often, leadership and management are viewed as the same. They’re not, though.
Management is telling people what to do and how to do it, regardless of whether they want to or not. They have to listen; and, typically, management is positional: it comes from the top down.
On the other hand, leadership is empowering; and, when done right, increases productivity and results. Boomers offer a vast amount of experience, which serves well when leading others. The younger generations might be able to do multiple things or fly through new software programs, but they struggle to lead.
If you’re a boomer or you’re considering hiring a boomer, their experience will come in handy when helping others and navigating key problems or events.
A knock that boomers get is that they’re inflexible and old school. Keep in mind that dictator-like leadership – or telling people what to do – isn’t so beneficial in 2021. Neither is being a know-it-all who is unwilling to reason.
If you are a boomer, keep in mind that while you do have a distinct advantage because of your experience and leadership, you will have to mold it to the current work culture to succeed.
Don’t use old school management techniques in the workplace; lead, and let your experience shine through!
Loyalty comes with leadership
As a millennial, I can tell you that my generation gets ridiculed the most about our commitment issues.
Millennials have issues with commitment in their relationships, with their habits, and their loyalty to their jobs! If within six months they don’t have a title they think they deserve, they have been known to throw in the towel and move on…, and this is where the boomer generation excels.
It isn’t just your experience that comes in handy; your commitment does, too. This sets apart the 56+ crowd from its younger coworkers, who are known to be less loyal – or just plain in it for themselves.
A leader tends to have GRIT
In her New York Times instant bestseller,Grit, Angela Duckworth lays out the secrets to accomplishing more through mental fortitude, determination, and effort – above and beyond raw talent.
She describes how the most successful know how to stay mentally focused and mentally strong, even when things seem to be caving in on all sides; especially as it pertains to work.
Perhaps the biggest knock on the millennial generation and below is their inability to cope with simple issues, remain emotionally stable, and push on when faced with tough times. However, the younger generation’s weak points happen to be among the greatest strengths of the boomers!
If you are a boomer, you have lived through several wars; one being Vietnam. You have seen changes politically, in society, and economically. At the peak of your career, you dealt with the attacks of 911 and the economic crash of 2008. Put another way: you have labored through the knee-deep mud quite a few times.
Typically, this translates to simply being more gritty than others. Boomers are known to work long hours, grind it out, and ultimately make things happen – like a bulldog attached to its favorite bone.
While working long hours doesn’t necessarily make you the better employee, real grit almost always does – so let it show in 2021.
Grit, like leadership, is more coveted now more than ever in the workplace!
The natural ebb and flow of generations is a good thing. Generational differences allow for changes to occur, but not at such a rate that it becomes too fast and too harmful.
This also means that when it comes to workplace culture and productivity, each generation offers a specific skill set that, when utilized correctly, can be very beneficial for all. True management is knowing how to place the right employees, and those skill sets, in the best positions to succeed.
So whether you’re a boomer looking to move up, or a hiring manager wondering if boomers can still add value, here’s hoping this article helped you!