PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 09, 2018 BY AVERY T. PHILLIPS
One of the hardest parts of maintaining PR or marketing efforts is keeping track of ever-changing trends. Especially with the rate at which things spread across the internet, staying relevant can feel nearly impossible. This is also true of marketing the most important product you may have on your desk: your own resume.
With women staying in the workforce longer and longer each decade, knowing how to continue marketing your skillset to new employers becomes tricky. This is especially true if you work in an industry with rapidly changing standards and technology where the newer generation entering the field has been trained already and knows to expect these new standards. This doesn’t discredit on-the-job-training and experience — it simply means you have to be smart in how you leverage those points on your resume.
Additionally, it may be frustrating to stay in a job for decades only to have someone younger and with less on-the-job experience take a position of more authority. In addition to knowing how to keep your skills marketable, it can be good to understand generational differences in the workplace. Remember: The most marketable skill you can have is adaptability to change, and any employer is going to want to see that in whoever they hire next.
If you are a baby boomer in the workforce and are struggling, there are a few things you can do to keep your work history at a satisfactory level. It all comes down to choosing smart options that fit your skillset. Here are a few things to consider as you work on marketing your skills to different generations in your current job or a new one.
Finding a New Job Can Be Hard for Baby Boomers
It used to be that having the same job for decades was a good thing. You could enjoy longevity and security in a job you enjoyed and that supported your home and family. Now, with technology shifting the way people carry out daily tasks, some entire industries are disappearing and jobs are changing.
For example, if you had worked as a cab driver, a transcriptionist or an office manager, those skills and jobs have shifted significantly with certain new technologies. A lot of taxi services have been replaced by app-based ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, and voice-to-text software has advanced at such a rate that transcription services are slowly being replaced. Additionally, some office manager duties have been switched to online management programs.
However, even though technology is making some things easier, the need for people to work to support their family doesn’t go away. Baby boomers are staying in jobs longer past the traditional age of retirement, and in some cases it’s simply because they have family members who continue to require care. Additionally, they may have adult children fresh out of college who are staying at home for a short period as they navigate their own job hunt.
This means that if you are working in a now-obsolete industry but aren’t ready to retire, you will be on the hunt for new employment at a time in your life when you may have not expected to be. This may feel frustrating or overwhelming, but it isn’t impossible. It’s all about setting yourself specific guidelines and measures for success.
Looking to Areas of High Need Can Be One Solution
If you already have work experience in certain fields that continue to experience high demands, then you may be in luck when it comes to your job search. Some professions will always have a need for people to work in them, regardless of how advanced technology becomes. For example, the medical field.
Even though a lot of the baby boomer generation isn’t retiring, there are still high numbers of people who are. This means there are more and more nursing and physician jobs that will need filling over time. It may not be at your original location of employment, but the jobs may still be there.
If you can’t find a job in your field in your current town or city, it can be worth it to look and see where there are more opportunities. If you’re in a position to move for a new job opportunity to an area with a higher concentration of openings, it could be worth it. This could also be a way of starting fresh in your field in a new town.
For example, in rural areas, there is a need for a greater number of care providers. As more and more centers of care begin to open, more providers will be needed to run them. So moving from a city to a rural area can be a huge opportunity.
Remember: Everyone Is Human Regardless of Age
It can also be beneficial during this time of your life to think about how important human connections continue to be, even when you’re job hunting. It can help to think of the people you’re interviewing with as potential connections in your professional life as opposed to thinking of them in terms of their age or presentation. Going into these interactions with an open mind and a goal of fostering something together can be beneficial for all sides.
For example, your manager may be younger than you, and although they are your manager, you may still have wisdom and learned experience to share. You may have institutional knowledge or memory that everyone can learn from. However, it’s crucial to remember that this mindset of wanting to connect and learn from one another regardless of age should go both ways.
Despite having been in your field for a long time, it’s important to keep an open mind and learn from your peers, even if they’re younger than you. Being respectful of and interested in one another’s varied lived experiences can create a diverse workplace for everyone to enjoy. By creating an enjoyable atmosphere, you’ll be bringing a new form of joy and coworking spirit to your latest professional endeavor — regardless of how long you’ve been there or how long you plan on staying. �