Because of the great feedback from my last blog, Jack Welch and the Value of Super Seniors, which explains how smart companies are capitalizing on the intellectual property of retired or seasoned professionals, I decided to follow up. Most readers asked how they too can become “super seniors” or what makes a senior “super.” Although most of us have no desire to be carried out of the office in a coffin, you have to admit – it’s pretty darn impressive when a person’s brand spans 6+ decades and has touched all five generations represented by today’s diverse workforce.
Take the invincible Betty White for example. This Hollywood guru, who maintained the longest television career for a female entertainer, shares some striking similarities to the humble seniors who’ve made serious impacts on my clients’ growth. If you’re familiar with her biography, Betty began her career in radio as a host for variety show, Hollywood on Television, spanning five and a half hours six days per week. Radio is a tough medium to garner engagement, never mind the ad-lib production style, which requires a great deal of thinking on your feet. These early years – a great testament to her unique talent – undoubtedly set the framework for the rest of her career. But the real takeaway here was how the skills she developed aren’t far off from the normal workforce requirements. It’s no secret that she relied on those very skills to adapt to the ebb and flow of new technologies and opportunities.
So what can all seniors learn from this entertainment icon?
More than you might think…
Stay relevant. This is a major point and the most common downfall of aging professionals. Instead of giving into the natural tendency to fight change, try embracing it. Remember yesterday fondly (both accomplishments and mistakes), but use that experience to improve future endeavors.
- Physically: Energy is not chronological. There’s a distinct energy super seniors emulate, and it’s contagious, inspiring younger staff members. They don’t act tired, disheveled, or arrive underdressed because they realize it negatively impacts the rest of the team.
- Mentally: Super seniors never stop learning. They keep their skills sharp and up to date, often take risks, and they engage with staff members of all levels. They’re also open-minded to learning from younger generations, especially when it comes to technology. Yes, super seniors tweet and connect with colleagues on LinkedIn. Plus, they’re not afraid using smart phones.
- Monetarily: They don’t try to be all things to all people. They know what they’re good at, and they focus on their strengths. They have created a specialty that most employers want and need. They’ve also learned how to brand themselves in a natural and organic way, and can communicate their message with ease. Lastly, they can speak the language of “employer” in a very succinct way, both in writing and in person.
By adopting these qualities, you’ll be dubbed a super senior in no time. Best of all, you’ll earn top dollar for your services all day long.
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