Mature Workers

“We bring heart and soul….young people bring speed and strength.” ~ Participant, Government of Alberta, Alberta’s Aging Workforce Presentation April 30, 2013

Not everyone wants or will be able to retire at 55, 65 or after. Meaningful work provides a sense of purpose and value….thus, beyond the stereotypical “3 G’s” of retirement, i.e., “golf”, “gardening”, and “grandkids”, there is much more to do and the 3 G’s often don’t cut it!

Challenges and Opportunities

It is true that older workers face some unique challenges when faced with career change or job loss, compared to their younger colleagues. However, the good news is that when mature workers are employed, they tend to stay employed for long periods of time with one employer. Conversely, the bad news is that when an older worker loses her or his job, it takes much longer to regain employment compared to younger workers.

Many Options for Older Workers

Baby Boomers have much to offer employers and there are many options available, including contract work, part-time work, flexible work options, self-employment, and more.

Older Workers Needs and Fears

Mature workers often desire part-time work, flexible work hours, the ability to work from home as well as the ability to collect a pension, if they have retired. In addition, older job seekers/career changers are often concerned about:

  • Age prejudice and related assumptions by employers, recruiters and younger workers that they are “too slow and cranky”, not current with computer technology or social trends and that older workers will automatically demand higher salaries
  • Shortage of suitable jobs
  • Keeping technical skills current
  • Jobs that are physically tiring
  • Inflexible employers/younger supervisors and recruiters
  • Lack of professional development opportunities
  • Not feeling valued for skills and experience they bring to an organization

Employers Needs and Fears

  • Loss of experienced leaders, corporate knowledge and specialized skills
  • Employee shortages are creating major barriers to the diversification and prosperity of the economies of Alberta and Canada overall
  • Industry is starting to experience a wave of “baby boomer” retirements, as well as the challenges of booming oil sands-related expansions and Alberta companies are in great need of skilled technical personnel
  • Lack of future leadership talent due to information, skills and information not being transmitted from one generation to the next
  • Loss of continuity in customer care

(Adapted from : N. Mangozho, Government of Alberta, Alberta’s Aging Workforce Presentation April 30, 2013)

If this describes you or someone you know, please contact me for help to identify appropriate resources and a clear plan of action!

Joy Cohen, BPA, RPR, Résumé Writer/Career Coach
Tel:  (587) 437-0963
Email: joycohen@live.ca