Age is Just a Number….Really

New post from KolormeHR.

People try to put us d-down (talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Just because we get around (talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Things they do look awful c-c-cold (talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I hope I die before I get old (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
This is my generation
This is my generation, baby
                                                   The Who

Age has never bothered me and I’ve never felt the need to be coy about it. It’s not that I enjoy getting older, but it’s a fact of life that happens to us all if we’re lucky. And it does have its advantages. I remember my mom being offended when a cashier offered her a senior citizen discount when she was a few years away from qualifying, and younger than I am today. I told her to take the damn discount next time😏.  I qualify for most family restaurant senior citizen menus and am not afraid to order from that section. I’m also much more comfortable in my skin and have a healthy sense of self-worth.

It’s funny how you don’t see yourself as others do though. Have you ever attended a wedding or funeral where you’ve seen people you haven’t in several years and thought how old looking they’ve gotten? Much older than you of course.🙂 I admit I’ve thought that and then it was pointed out that they were probably saying the same about me.

As for work, all the hype over the years about the different generations in the workplace, and how each generation should be handled, has been a disservice to all of us, no matter our age. Although it’s interesting to note the state of world events surrounding each generation, that’s where the advice should stop. Because many employers and managers take these stereotypes seriously and lose out (or exclude)  potential employees from all age ranges.

It’s time that employers, managers, employees, and individuals start seeing, and appreciating, others as the individuals they are. Look at what a particular person brings to the table rather than what our biases tell us they bring. We should not assume that 60-year olds are has-beens with no fresh ideas to offer. We should not assume that the 20 something fresh out of school has little to offer and will take up our time with training and constant reassurance. We should not assume that parents or grandparents don’t take their jobs seriously just because they have other obligations that need to be tended to during working hours. We should not assume that someone expects constant feedback because of their generation unless we have asked them their preference. We should not assume that someone does not want any feedback because their generation supposedly does not require it.  We should not assume that someone is not worthy of being hired or promoted because they’re too old or too young. We should not assume anything period. 

Everyone has something to offer in the workplace, and not everyone is right for every employer. But judge people on their merits or lack there of, and act accordingly. Don’t rely on your biases (we all have them) or what experts tell you.

At the playground today with my grandson, he called me grandma and a young girl said she didn’t see how I could be because I didn’t look old. I just smiled and said that I was that old. And I was fine with it. After all, age is just a number.




Author: KolormeHR

I'm a baby boomer HR professional from Minneapolis MN.

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