At a recent cocktail party I was introduced to a man who upon learning I was a career coach, began discussing his current position. I was happy to listen to his story but it did not take long to surmise my new acquaintance spent a considerable amount of time worrying about a secure future. I probed to find the cause of his distress inquiring about the financial health of the company and his relationship with management. Everything checked out fine until we discussed age. He lamented approaching 54. “People turn 54 everyday,” I countered brightly, but it was obvious he was not deterred. He preferred to worry.
Listen up people. Age is always a factor in your career life! New careerists complain they don’t score great opportunities due to lack of experience. Baby Boomers grumble about age discrimination. Being in your 20’s or in your 50’s and beyond has an impact on your professional life, but fretting over your chronological standing serves no purpose.
We all spend some time worrying about things that never happen. The downside of worry it’s a time-suck, time spent being unproductive. There is no upside. Although I don’t have a magic formula to eliminate unfounded fretting, I do have some suggestions for creating a more positive outlook on career success.
How should Baby Boomers fight age discrimination? Be lifetime learners. Keep up with technology and new trends. Don’t rest on your laurels. Look, sound and be energetic. Show your value by using your vast experience and pay it forward by mentoring others. Update your online presence, keep up with social media and NO you do not have to publish the year you obtained your degree.
For Millennials and Baby Boomers alike, always be networking. Build a solid network and keep up with your connections. Early careerists interested in moving up the ladder heed my advice. You get there by going the extra mile! Prove your stamina and resilience by volunteering for assignments no one else wants. Keep refining your elevator speech and resume. When doors close, don’t take it personally. Look for mentors who can help you and don’t be afraid to take risks.
My point is the time invested in worry and whining can be put to good use by upgrading your skills and increasing your worth. One last thought, prepare for the unknown by replacing worry with problem solving. If you follow my advice and we meet at a cocktail party, I know you will wow me with what is going on in your professional life.