Upon seeing a new postage stamp in the “The Crown,” Queen Elizabeth remarks, “Age is rarely kind to any of us.”
As befits royalty is a simple, understated statement.
As it exists in the real world, it is not purely about appearance that age becomes more difficult. It is about every aspect of life.
Illness occurs more frequently.
Our responsibilities change as we take on care of our parents.
We notice changes in our bodies. For example, I remember waking up one morning and seeing my neck looked different from before. How the heck that that happen?
Professionally, there are many effects aging has.
As your salary has risen, the likelihood of being targeted for the next layoff increases.
When looking for a position, unconscious bias rears its head, and its assumptions will decrease the likelihood of being interviewed, let alone hired.
Then there’s the conscious bias!
Preferred assignments often go to younger professionals.
We start to see that we have evolved from “up and coming” to “up and out.”
We are more likely to be on the outside of the inner circle.
Our organizational relevance becomes diminished, as does our influence.
When ageist comments are made, we see they see how they are accepted as gospel. No one leads to our defense, and if we do, we are often told that we are “sensitive.”
It’s harder to find professional clothes that look well on us that don’t cost as much as a small federal program.
Options seem fewer and further between.
I could make a list that would go on for a few more pages, but what’s the point?
For those who are younger, I want to remind you that these people are your future . . . If you’re lucky.
For those of you who fit the earlier description, I want to remind you that one of your jobs is to pass on your knowledge to those younger, so they don’t need to learn everything through trial and error.
Do it without the expectation that they’re going to take your advice.
Do it because you have a relationship with someone who you want to help.
One of the ways to pass on your knowledge is with questions that help them sort things through. After all, for most of you, no one did that for you, right?
Shaping the future through influence is one of the greatest gifts you can pass down to people.
Shaping the future through to radically expecting everyone listens to every word that you say and basks in your magnificence is how we re-create lousy parenting in the workplace.
“Why can’t they be like we were. Perfect in every way.”
~ ”What’s the Matter With Kids Today, Bye Bye, Birdie
When my son was a young boy, and I was impatient with him, he looked at me hurt and said, “Dad, I’m learning.”
There’s more than one way to do something, and everyone makes mistakes.
Be the person they want to talk to, rather than the one who inflicts advice unnecessarily.
Be available but not dominant.
Be an elder to them, not competition for them.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV and 90+ smartsets.
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