Getting Old (and Wising Up) at the Workplace

Getting Old (and Wising Up) at the Workplace

Perhaps you’re in your early 20s or 30s and full of energy. That’s wonderful. But with the passing of time, we all face the same thing: aging.

This is something we forget when we talk about diversity in the workplace, the mix of people of all ages to create wiser teams.

Is your workplace age-friendly?

Regardless of whether you are a ninja software developer, a top-notch marketer, or even a killer recruiter you will all age. If you’re lucky.

Surviving the 40s

I got to Nearsoft when I was 43. I had just stepped out of a rough period in my life, which included an ugly divorce, and loss of savings, and pretty much an ugly everything. I’ll spare you the details, but it was challenging, to say the least.

However, something good came out of it. I learned that with the passing of time you become resilient and better equipped to work out difficult situations. And you make better decisions.

Granted, it’s not always easy to put up with your own emotional garbage, but at least, you become less reactive and more conciliatory.

Hitting The Big Five-Oh

This year I’ll be 50. Yes, five-zero.

If I am not mistaken this will make me the second oldest person in Nearsoft.

I don’t consider myself a run-down old-timer, but I am not 20 anymore. Now more than ever, I am convinced that becoming aware about the inevitable passing of time is of the utmost importance. Specially in this constantly growing miracle I call Nearsoft, where so many things change so quickly. Technology changes quickly. And people of all shapes and sizes become part of this growing “family.”

Keeping up with all the changes and so many different mindsets, becomes a challenge for me to overcome.

You Will Age Too (if You Are Lucky)!

I do remember that “forever young” feeling. Aging seemed such as
distant concept! But guess what? That’s not what happens.

As you age, you can, however, perceive the passing of time with greater quality and accept the fact that if you are lucky, you’ll get to age. And it will be fun!

Managing the Inevitable

As you age, your mental capabilities change. People who are getting older may not process thoughts as they once did. It may or may not take them longer to learn new skills. And this is completely normal.

There’s something called cognitive functioning, which in a nutshell, tells us how people think and how quickly they do it as they age.
Coming from a previous generation, the way I do things is clearly different.

Being aware of this enables us to understand how you or your teammates can naturally develop different habits to match your learning and working styles with the aging process.

Learning New Tricks

All of us think and learn differently, regardless of our age. Our cognitive functions depend mostly on the experiences we have had during our lifetime.

People who have had a lot of training or who have had to carry out a variety of tasks, are experienced learners. They can learn new skills well and easily improve the ones they have.

Others who might resist learning include those who have little formal training or who have carried out relatively simple or repetitive tasks for many years. They are used to doing the same thing, the same way, and may find it hard to take in new information or ways of doing things.

What is your own learning style?

Group Wisdom

There are many aspects I could talk about aging at the workplace, but the most important would be wising up. This means understanding the term wisdom as a group trait.

At a workplace like Nearsoft different generations come together. This creates the opportunity of achieving extraordinary results by combining their knowledge and experience.

The Age-Friendly Workplace

You don’t need to get old to gain in wisdom. Group wisdom can be accessible to you at age-friendly workplaces.

I’ve learned that teams of people with different ages and backgrounds are able to more quickly develop wisdom than lone wolves.

I believe aging with wisdom at the workplace should include,

  • Thinking diversity and competence
  • Accumulated knowledge and experience
  • Emotional intelligence
  • An ability to get into the best frame of mind
  • Clear focus on an outcome for the collective benefit
  • Strength of character
  • Persistence, objectivity and compassion

What truly matters, though, is the synergy of all of these aspects.

And Finally …

Are you up for the challenge? Don’t take too long to decide, though.
Time does pass by.

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