What’s Next on Boomers’ To-Do Lists? Time to Think About Our Succession Plans
Updated May 24, 2011
I admit to being a task-oriented type of guy, despite being known for generating ideas and preferring the big-picture over details. And as a mid-fifties Boomer, I’ve been down the proverbial “Been-there, done (most of) that” routines. Let’s take a look, and if you’re a Boomer compare notes.
Caution: If you’re a Gen-Xer (30 to 44) and you’ve done all the below, then you’re a Boomer-Wannabee.
• Wanted children? Yep, had four (now between 20 and 30). None of that 1.9 kids per family unit for this guy
• Grand kids? Check, have two (for now)
• Built a successful career? Did okay on that front
• Did the obligatory graduate studies? Earned two masters while helping to raise kids
• Went fitness crazy? Yeah, for a long-time, but have come to my senses, where health is more important. Proud of my love handles
• 40th birthday (stage one mid-life) crisis? Oh yeah! Went nuts with outdoor recreation, from whitewater canoeing to off-trail mountain biking to camping.
• 50th birthday (stage two mid-life crisis)? Of course, but got smart this time and embraced my childhood passion of playing the piano. Now own two. Still mountain bike, but just more sedately. Camping? No more of that sleeping on the ground; I like my back
• Downsizing/re-orged to death? Yes, but fortunately didn’t suffer as much others who were dealt with brutally. But got fed up with being told to bend over (you know the rest)
• Went consumer-spending crazy? Nope on that one, but not completely innocent either. Too busy supporting a family of six on one salary for many years
• Love being an empty-nester? Just about to enter that world. Looks pretty enticing
• Feeling really sandwiched? You bet–between our kids and a 90 year-old mom
• Feeling ready for a career change? Oh yeah. Started the process
• Want a simpler life? Pleeeaaase yes! Essential to not just a post-corporate career but also to practicing more stewardship in helping care for our planet
• Anything I’m missing? Add your comments
SORRY BOOMERS, BUT I HAVE BAD NEWS: WE WON’T LIVE FOREEVER!
Last year, I experienced the ugly side of having an aging parent spend 18 days in a hospital that was at 108% capacity. It was not a pretty site. But it’s probably a better situation than what we Boomers will face in the years ahead.
As we Boomers begin to exit from the labor force in increasing numbers over the next 10 to 15 years, it will provide much-needed opportunities for Gen Y to secure employment. This generation has had (to be blunt) the crap battered out of it during the past two years. Last-in, first-out, as the saying goes in organizations.
Gen X, which has had to endure living in the Boomers’ omnipresent shadow, is actually fortunate since they will succeed the exodus of managerial Boomers. Their situation may possibly reflect the labor market my dad faced post World War II, during which a pulse was all you needed to find a job.
For us Boomers, our next task is to create a new task-list of what we want to accomplish during our silver years. Here’s an idea: why not commit to becoming leaders of stewardship for our planet? Many Gen Yers already get it; it’s now our turn.
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