A poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (University of Chicago) reports that 23% of workers, including 2 in 10 of those over 50, don’t expect to stop working; roughly another 25% of Americans say they will continue working beyond their 65th birthday.
Right here, within the Miami Valley, there are approximately 179,000 people 60-74 years old, either currently employed or actively looking for employment. More mature citizens will continue to be engaged in the workforce and a contributor to their families and communities.
As mature individuals, they bring a different approach to their jobs and volunteer roles. They are accustomed to taking their jobs seriously and feeling a type of responsibility and loyalty to their organizations that many younger individuals may lack. The options and benefits are numerous. Here are select roles and services workplace leaders might consider when seeking qualified, experienced individuals for employment or volunteer roles.
Employment: Full-time, part-time, seasonal consultation, short-term projects, remote assignments
Volunteerism: Direct service, e.g., mentors, tutors, community navigators; in-direct assistance, e.g., scientists, volunteer coordinators, strategic planners, historians, office assistants, marketing specialists, and many other areas of expertise
- Brings institutional knowledge and perspectives, social maturity and stability;
- Demonstrates emotional and intellectual involvement;
- Guided by workplace wisdom; job performance improves with experience, especially productivity; generally, knows where to invest time and effort to avoid costly mistakes;
- Provides mentoring and reverse mentoring that can boost morale and productivity;
- Offers flexible work schedules;
- Training costs are typically lower; experience with other ways to do things, coupled with an awareness of related topics, gives an edge to learning new approaches, and
- Individuals are committed to lifelong learning.
Workplace leaders, older citizens represent a wealth of knowledge and life experience. They are valuable sources of talent and established leadership you cannot afford to ignore. Your ability to leverage the dynamics of aging — the changing realities affecting your organization — will lead to more success.
Mary E. Tyler, a proud Baby Boomer, is an engaged community leader living in the Dayton area. She is also the principal of Mary E. Tyler Consulting, and a Certified Diversity Professional. Tyler recently retired as the executive director of the National Conference for Community and Justice of Greater Dayton. Guest columns are submitted or requested fact-based opinion pieces typically of 300 to 450 words.