Is the constant evolution of technology in the workplace forcing you to consider early retirement? This is a highly common stress factor for adults continuing their careers later in life, leading some to consider early resignation.
An increasing number of workers are continuing their careers later in life, with 22% of the workforce now above age 54. Unfortunately, this group has shown signs of heightened stress caused by an inability to cope with technological advancement in the workplace. Many struggle with what they consider unreasonable demands of continuous, and at times unnecessary, technological change. It often feels like the gadgets of today are updated by tomorrow.
For those working in the tech industry, this can either be a thrilling endeavor of adaptation, or an exhausting cycle of figuring out how to perform their job adequately. But even in professions such as teaching and health care, jobs are becoming more dependent on smartphones, tablets and computers, creating an ever-growing obligation to understand recent technological products. While studies have shown that age does not limit one’s ability to learn new skills, the rate at which those skills are learned can slow over time. This puts elders at a severe disadvantage in a constantly changing technological landscape.
The key to overcoming this technological stress in the workplace is taking advantage of your unique strengths. According to numerous studies, older workers have proven to be some of the most reliable and hard-working members of a company, possessing years more experience than their coworkers. If you’ve been competently handling your job for decades, you possess a level of understanding that newer employees have yet to reach. You can use this to find a mentoring niche in your company, giving yourself value as a well of experience. Another strategy is using younger, tech-savvy coworkers as tutors for your personal technological growth. There is an opportunity for mutual benefit in creating a relationship of this kind, providing valuable insight to both parties.
While today’s work setting appears to be a hostile environment for older adults, it is still possible to delay retirement and maintain a satisfying place in the workforce. In focusing on your strengths, you are more than capable of enjoying many stress-free years of work life in the future, and retiring only when you are confident the time is right!
What obstacles have you faced as an elder in the workforce? What did you do to overcome these issues? What you be your ideal retirement age? Share with the community!