- BRW Lists
Published 03 December 2012 06:24, Updated 06 December 2012 10:09
Thirty years of experience no longer looks like an advantage when twenty-something recruiters are wondering if, instead of being experienced, you are “past it”. You have to be seen to be keeping up, especially when the world expects you to be slowing down. Photo: Louie Douvis
Some people just give up on change. They decide “enough is enough”, they dig in their heels and decide to let the rest of the world pass them by.
You can understand why. It is hard work to keep up.
Technology morphs at increasing speeds giving us new devices, which start off looking like toys but become work and life necessities. Fashions come and go in a blink. So do marriages, for that matter.
Jobs and professions go through rapid swings. A girl I went to school with became a veterinarian, then a journalist and then a science teacher. That was unusual through the 1980s and 1990s. Now it is to be expected.
Young people today graduate into jobs they consider “starter careers”. They don’t have a single, burning ambition, they have a number of simultaneous ones, and they expect to give all of them a “red hot g”.
But, as people grow older, they often reach a point where they feel comfortable, they have a mastery of what they need to know at that point and they say, “that’ll do me”.
They are the women we see with the big hair, big gold jewellery and quarterback shoulder pads, which carbon-date them to the 1980s. Or the men who refuse to put away childish things, wearing the baggy, daggy surf clothes of their teens and refusing to commit to any woman who looks like she wants to settle down.
They may reject the fancy smartphones and laptops and laugh at adults who “twit” and “Facebook”. They covet the cars of their youth, keep going to the same pubs and think if they keep ignoring the change programs at work, they will just go away. They’ve seen out a conga line of CEOs with their sacks of gold and, if they keep their heads down, they’ll survive a few more.
But no matter how hard they try, change is eventually going to come and get them. Because the only sure thing about next year is that things will be different from this one. New is now the new “new”.
My friend Robyn is back in the job market and finding it harder than usual to get another job in marketing. She is beginning to realise that it may not be a good idea to be without a smartphone, or iPad, or Twitter account, or active LinkedIn profile.
Thirty years of experience no longer looks like an advantage when 20-something recruiters are wondering if, instead of being experienced, you are “past it”. You have to be seen to be keeping up, especially when the world expects you to be slowing down.
At the same time, my 85-year-old mother-in-law is getting her first iPad . . . from middle-aged children who have no idea how to use it. It is the grandchildren who will be teaching her. Not keeping up has more to do with attitude than age.
US coach and psychology graduate, Sandra Crowe, has come up with five tips to help people deal with change: