Learn, Work, Retire?

I’ve been catching up on keeping up with the impacts artificial intelligence will make in all our lives.

Turning my thoughts to the millennials in particular, I wondered how accurately the title of this Blog relates to them.

I was a premature baby boomer, born in the late 1940s. My career path was almost like these words in the blog title. I went to elementary school, high school, then undergraduate university. After 3 years of work, I took a break from work for 3 years, going back to university for my Masters’s Degree. Then, I worked for 41 years without interruption. I retired in 2017. Over all those years, I had only 5 different employers.

I didn’t do much career planning except to be a generalist within the broad social work environment. I was successful in 100% of my employment.

The millennials, born 1981-1996 or aged 27-42, or just getting started, perhaps having had 1-2 entry-level positions in their chosen profession. More probably, many younger millennials are living at home, working part-time with 3 different employers simultaneously. Some older millennials who have progressed in their chosen path might feel very insecure, fearing being laid off because of technology.

I have had a picture in my mind for a long time regarding the pace of change. It’s a graph with the line of obsolescence trending slowly upward. But that line is ever bending more sharply to become an almost vertical line. I suppose a true vertical would indicate that I would always be obsolete.

As an older adult, I can support the upcoming generation. I don’t think I can advise them about a career path. It is just so different from my experience. But I can support them.

First, I can not be judgemental about whatever their situation is. I’ve never lived it. Asking,” When are you ever going to leave home,” is not helpful.

Or “It’s cheaper to rent, anyways,” denies their aspirations.

I can validate their current situation without being patronizing. I can be encouraging without being unrealistic.

I can avoid telling them about my experience and how I didn’t get the first job I applied for.

I don’t think they care, and I don’t blame them.

Please give this a bit of a think. How can you support and be supportive of younger adults who, in the future, may be working in jobs that currently don’t exist? How can you validate the reality of younger adults who may, in a year or two, need to use tools that haven’t been invented yet?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association the for making this Blog possible.

Volunteer Blogger


2 thoughts on “Learn, Work, Retire?

  1. Patti+Dolman says:

    My S-I-L did not have a post secondary school education and even those years were intermittent attendance. He’s a free thinker and hungry for knowledge; you might say he’s self taught. He stumbled upon a parking system for bikes that takes up little space in condos. After travelling to China 5 years ago to see the product firsthand, he works from home and has done many installations here in Toronto as well as Orlando, Boston and Chicago. Formal education works for most people but fortunately for self starters they never have to fill out a resume.
    On a side note; There is a shortage of radiologists here in Ontario. Getting an MRI can take 6- 9 months. Apparently there aren’t enough applicants in the programs and the government hasn’t figured out yet that maybe they need to ramp up their recruiting strategies.

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