RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES AND LOVE YOUR JOB
Burnout is one of the biggest problems in the workplace, especially for older workers, and is a major reason many people retire earlier than they projected, according to an article in AARP The Magazine. But for people in their mid-to-late 50s and into their 60s, these are generally peak earning years, so staying on the job allows for continued retirement-account contributions and a delay in filing for Social Security benefits to qualify for a higher payout.
That said, with more people wanting—or needing—to work well past their 50s, generating new enthusiasm on the job is critical, the article pointed out.
“We are rewriting the map of life,” said Marc Freedman, the CEO of Encore.org, a nonprofit organization that’s building a movement to tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond. “In the past, if you were 56 or 57, it might be only a year or two before you were ready to slip into early retirement. Now you’re thinking about another 10- or 15-year working career. That changes the entire equation.”
Here from the article, adapted from the AARP book, Love Your Job: The New Rules of Career Happiness, are eight tips to help older workers reengage.
Seek Out New Duties — If you’re constantly doing the same set of tasks each day, the monotony alone can drag you down. Step things up. Scrutinize your current position to pinpoint a new responsibility you can add that will refresh your focus, and maybe even scare you a bit. Ask to be assigned a signature project you’ve always wanted to launch, or volunteer for a new role. At this stage, it’s easy to coast, but this is the time to try something different.
Get up to Speed — It’s easy to become complacent about staying current with the trends in your field. Set up a Google Alert to notify you when your employer is in the news or when a competitor is making waves or beginning a new venture. Follow industry thought-leader blogs, join relevant groups on Linked In, and participate in the discussion.
Connect with your coworkers — Subtle changes in your behavior each day can have a huge impact. For example, practice listening to coworkers and celebrate their successes. It’ll make you feel good and build esprit de corps. Reach out to new colleagues, or those you don’t know well, to grab lunch and learn about what they do and their backgrounds. Stop by someone’s office to talk about something unrelated to work. Instead of emailing a reply, have a face-to-face chat.
Fine-tune your relationship with a difficult boss — Lots of people quit their bosses, not their jobs. No matter how impossible your supervisor is, keep your side of the street clean. If your unhappiness with him or her affects your productivity, this will come back to bite you, not your boss. Most supervisors do want you to succeed; this reflects on their performance, too. You might just need to gently show your boss, by demonstrating that you’re engaged in your job, how you can help each other.
Find joy around the edges — Many companies provide the opportunity to do volunteer work right within the organization. Find a volunteer gig that can help build relationships with coworkers (even your boss) and forge bonds across departments that you might never have had otherwise. Get involved with a mentoring program. Participate in employee activities. Join or organize a company team sport. Or create a walking, biking or running group.
Clean up your office — When people feel sapped of energy, often they’re not clearing out as they go. Their in-box is overflowing, their desk is a disaster, and their file drawers are bursting. De-cluttering is liberating and empowering. You’re saying, “This is valuable; this is not.” It’s a physical way to be involved in making decisions about your life and what you want to do with it.
Be happy in your work — A recent Gallup poll found that the more that employees use their strengths at work and are engaged in their jobs, the happier and more enthusiastic they are. You’ll discover that your enthusiasm will not only trickle down to the quality of your work but that people will want to have what you have. You’ll be the one they seek to have on their team. To quote Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Upgrade your skills — This is especially true with new technology. Learn what computer programs your employer values, and take a class or a refresher course at your community college, or participate in a workplace workshop or training program. That hands-on approach can open doors to a promotion or lateral move. But more than that, it can ramp up your enthusiasm for your job and push it in new directions. Boredom is often at the root of unhappiness at work. If you persistently add worth to what you bring to the job, chances are your boss will notice and reward you for it, and that can do wonders for your attitude.
NEWS FROM BERMAN LARSON KANE
Labor Day is the celebration of the American worker and this September we are starting with the lowest unemployment numbers in 7 years.
We at Berman Larson Kane continue to see a steady increase in hiring, however wages remain flat. Pockets of skilled hiring continue in media, technology, pharma and technical scientific. Our projects for the fall are positive, but concerns remain with the stock market and the effects of unfavorable global growth numbers.
Bob Larson, CPC is looking forward to the fall convention schedule and learning from talking with attendees across the nation.