CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JUL. 20, 2014
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How Older Workers Can Maintain Their Position in the Workplace

I have a few friends over 55 who are looking for a job but cannot find it. These people are the ones that at some point of time carried the load of their organisations. I am talking about the CEOs, Presidents, Vice-President, Marketing Directors and other higher managerial level positions here.

These people spent most of their life working over 70 hours a week and missed children birthday parties, league games and so much leisure time with friends and family, all for the organisation. It’s sad but their loyalty was left unrewarded. Let me add: they had never been unemployed until now, are wicked smart, full of energy, have the right attitude, an awesome foresight and can put in lots of hard work and with their experience are able to manage a corporate through rough spots. Yet, they were laid off, only to hire a younger candidate who was full of new ideas and thoughts.

The number of people aged 55 and older, being laid off their jobs is rising at an upsetting rate. For those of you who have crossed the age and still hanging in there, it is important to buckle up and put in some effort to make everyone at the workplace realise your importance.

After all, if you really want to live the current lifestyle, you have no choice but adapting your mindset and surviving longer in your career. This is not just it, if you want more reasons to stick by at your current association, read on:

  • The number of Americans aged 55 and older will double in the next 16 years.  This is sure to strain the Social Security and Medicare.
  • The life expectancy in America is at all-time high and death rate is at an all-time low, which means many people will outlast their retirement savings.
  • The worldwide economic crisis has affected millions of senior aged life savings.


If this has motivated you enough to stay in the corporate run for a little longer, find out how you can maintain your position and also your importance in the organisation.

The first step to remain in the increasingly competitive pool of professionals is by changing your mindset: it is important to understand that workplaces are dynamic, not static. You need to learn, unlearn and relearn. Sounds confusing? Not really. It is important to adapt to technology as well as organisational changes and leaps. The key to be relevant (irrespective of your age) is to keep an open and flexible mind.

Media Expert and Author Steve Kayser mentioned an outline in his book about how older workers can maintain their value. It’s by staying RELEVANT. When he says it in Caps, he means:

R: Risk
E: Experiment
L: Listen and Learn
E: Engage
V: Value
A: Attitude of Gratitude
N: No to Negativity
T: Time

As per Kayser, “This is an ongoing, evolving note to keep in mind no matter your professional situation”.  The acronym merely brings together the thoughts that seem to encourage a proactive and upbeat life and is a good guideline for goal setting.  

Thinking of it, this is probably the reason why some of my friends who are on the lookout for a job now, after years and years of hard work could not hang in there. Maybe they were unable to change their mindset or stay RELEVANT.

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