You walk into your new-hire enrollment meeting to see a 50-year-old man fumbling with the computer and telling you to take a seat. It’s a scene you’ve been conditioned to seeing throughout your academic career. The instructor introduces himself and lets you know it will be six weeks before you actually start working and he is going to be your guide to learning the “new computer systems.” You instinctively roll your eyes and get your phone out. Without a tiniest effort you can find a YouTube video that will teach you everything this man knows about a “new computer system” in 30 minutes, not 6 weeks.
You take a deep breath as he hovers over the start button for the full display to come up as he moves over each option before landing on ‘programs’. Think about how you wanted to start meditating as he accidentally clicks away onto the screen and is about to have to restart this 5 minute ordeal. What is this guy going to “teach” you next? How to open Microsoft paint? I’ve been ignoring my middle school teacher for years playing with that. Maybe he’ll open your eyes to the world of Excel?! You finished your capstone class in college with advanced pivot tables and if this guy pivots too hard he’s going to break a hip.
Yes, a changing of the guard is taking place. With all of their fanfare and glory over the years, baby boomers are reluctantly realizing a new generation has arrived and we are setting the tone for the workplace of the future. We win, hands down, when it comes to technology, although we may lose out on those soft skills like actually talking to each other face-to-face.
Baby boomers have been in the workplace and building relationships for years. They may have worked for a Company longer than we’ve been alive. They are accustomed to making the high five and six-figure incomes and used to running “the show” their way. You know what I’m talking about: “It’s my way or the highway!” attitude.
But now with more than ten thousand boomers turning 65 and becoming eligible for retirement annually, it’s our turn to step up and take our rightful places in the workforce.
You can read more in the new book: The Baby Boomer/Millennial Guide to Understanding Each Other in the Workplace.
Written by Chris Gure