When I was in my teens and twenties, getting a job was such an easy thing to do. Prospective employers were willing to take you on even if you had no experience, no college or university degree and no C.V. They were all willing to train you as they knew that would mold you into exactly the type of employee they needed to help their business thrive. You also ended up devoting decades to the same firm and were presented with your gold watch upon retirement. Your devotion and loyalty were rewarded with perhaps a Christmas bonus or a promotion that entitled you to a salary increase. Unless you were a liability, they didn’t want to see you leave.
No doubt, scenarios such as these may still exist today but the main stumbling block for young people is getting a foot in the door in the first place. Everyone today is encouraged to apply online but I still believe in the old fashioned way of showing up in person to apply for a position. An online application is simply words on a page that could never convey the essence of who you are. Arrive at the door, make a good impression and you are now visible. You’ll be the one they remember.
The pace of society today practically demands every situation in life be turnkey. So minimal that barely any effort is required to achieve perfection. We want beautifully renovated homes, perfectly trained dogs and employees with a wealth of experience that was acquired elsewhere. I do not envy the twenty-somethings of today — many of whom, upon graduation, are often unable to pursue a career in their field of choice and find themselves flipping burgers for minimum wage. It often all comes down to employers demanding previous experience and in many cases, their unwillingness to train too extensively. Yet, if no one gives a green horn his or her first break, experience is long in coming.
Many young adults are finding that several part time jobs become their most practical option to make ends meet and wonder if they will ever own that first house and save for the future.
At the other end of the spectrum, older adults and senior citizens must deal with their own set of challenges when attempting to re-enter the workforce after retirement or many years of child rearing. We are often considered to be “has beens” who have one foot in the nursing home with reduced mental and physical capacities and unable to keep up with the pace of business today. Well, grey hair does not mean non-functioning grey matter as older folks today are often in better shape than their younger counterparts. We bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the job market — not to mention dependability and maturity — and we are also up on the latest technology.
We also can’t quietly sneak in late for work as our creaky joints and crackly bones will give us away every time. So, punctuality is another one of our attributes. We are also content with part time employment as opposed to full time since the ski hills and golf courses beckon throughout the year.
The bottom line is that everyone in every age group brings something different to the table. That young guy or gal standing there with C.V. in hand is hoping for the opportunity to step into a fulfilling career and a future that will lead to a happy retirement. He or she has bright and refreshing ideas that will help your company grow and combined with the wisdom of the ages an older employee can contribute, this can be the perfect corporate marriage.
Now, time for a coffee break!