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When a study called “Better with Age? How Young People See Seniors and the Aging Process,” was released, people aged 16 to 34 considered the idea of “old” to be between the age of 56 to 61. While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects people aged 40 and older from discrimination, it does not mean that older people in a workplace will be free from stereotypes from their younger counterparts. While younger people agree that older people are not a burden on society, they incorrectly perceive older employees as losing touch with modern technology.

In actuality, 67 percent of seniors use the internet regularly and 51 percent have broadband at home. 64 percent of people 50 to 64 years of age use social media, which drops to 37 percent  for seniors starting at 65 and older. Older Americans are the fastest growing group of Facebook users according to AARP.

Instead of looking at your older co-worker as falling out of touch, focus on what you can gain by working with them.

  • Resilience: Many older generations have gone through the recession of the 70’s and remember the Depression. These generations can teach you a lot about resilience, economic cycles and a long-term viewpoint.

  • Loyalty: Older generations know the value associated with staying with an employer for a long period of time, regardless of the ups and downs within a company. Understanding these traits can help you receive more perks the longer you stay, and even how to negotiate them!

  • Interpersonal Skills: Older generations know how to develop and maintain high level one-on-one relationships. This type of skill is great in sales and marketing.

Try going out to lunch and walking a mile in and older generation’s shoes. There is much to be learned that you may be able to bring into how you accomplish tasks at work.

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