We were at the theater watching one of my favorite plays, A Chorus Line. Watching a good musical is truly one of my favorite activities. I am usually absorbed and entertained the whole time, but on May 17th we were anxiously awaiting the birth of our first grandchild being born across the country. All-day I was hoping my daughter would have her baby prior to the start of the play as we had learned earlier that day she was in labor. One never knows how long this will take so I did my best to be patient and not check my phone every 30 seconds. As the play started, I had feelings of excitement, anxiety, and hope that all would go well. I was enjoying the play and at intermission, I checked my phone and there was an amazing photo of my daughter with our new granddaughter Makenzie in her arms. I created a scene at the theater, and this was the moment I knew our life was changed forever with such deep love for our precious Makenzie.
The next day I arrived in Colorado and met Makenzie. For two weeks I was in the land of love as I watched my daughter and son-in-law take care of this new being. It was also a time to reflect and re-order my priorities. I started envisioning more family time, future plans for family reunions and re-focusing my business vision to align with my lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong as a mid-late career specialist, I have often tweaked and shifted my priorities, but this time was different. Questions started emerging around my life purpose, legacy and transitioning to a new chapter. I have helped clients for years go through these exercises and I needed to revisit them for myself. I believe we all need to re-evaluate our personal and professional goals on a regular basis as we transition to new phases in our life.
Through my discovery process, I had an awakening and a renewal of career intentions. Over the years I have helped clients from 22-65 years old through a career coaching process and have traveled through each phase of career development as a partner. In my heart I want to help those late in their career to thrive, be productive and continue to bring value to their organization. I am on the path to bring my mission, skills and passion to organizations so they can thrive, not just survive. In order to thrive, late career workers, want work meaningfulness, inclusion in organizational decision making, mentoring-- bringing their wisdom to other workers and knowledge transfer. This is a win-win for employers and employees.
Workers aged 55 years old and over are not always utilized or valued as much as they could be in the workplace. I hear many companies talk about employee development for their younger workers and not those that may retirement in 5-10 years. In my opinion, this is a mistake as many boomers want to work longer and continue to make contributions to the company. Many boomers want to stay in the game. They may be in the homestretch but that doesn’t mean they are not working hard, contributing and in a growth mindset. They want to learn, grow and continue to develop. We should be leveraging their skills, and talents as this is a key ingredient in productivity, engagement and strategies for knowledge transfer.
It would benefit employees to identify the essence of what they want. Questions to answer are:
- What skills and talents to I want to utilize?
- Which values and needs must be supported through my work?
- What types of challenges do I want to face in my work?
- Where to I want to grow and develop?
- When do I want to retire or semi-retire?
In self-assessment we start to learn what we really want to do. Where is our time going? How does it speak to what we really want from success? Research into success has shown one of the biggest causes of failure is an overreliance on ones’ strengths. Meaning and significance become more important to baby boomer employees. Legacy becomes a key issue with older employees and starting conversation with leaders is in your organization is valuable. Legacy is all about building on your achievements and values to help others succeed after you’re gone.
For leaders and managers, “homestretchers” in your organization may want to shift their role and add value in a different way. To create a platform for enduring success in your organization, be open to shifts and switches of skills, and focus on your older workers. This will create conditions for commitment, satisfaction and continuity in your organization. If recent studies are right, more than 80% or workers today want out of their jobs. It’s a phenomenon of epidemic proportion. It’s been my experience that many think they want a career change because they are not happy, but the grass is not always greener on the other side. Perhaps there is a better way to make changes within your organization. Don’t we all owe it to ourselves and the good of our organization to find out?
Feel free to reach out and learn about Homestretch Career Huddle programs. Contact Sandy@demarestdirections.com.