Age isn’t just a number, it’s a good number.
- Feb 14, 2022
- 4 mins read
I’m writing this on behalf of my colleagues who are within my age range of 55+ and may be starting to feel like age is more than just a number.
Okay, I told a little fib. I’m actually 61 years old and didn’t want to leave out those of you who may be feeling slightly threatened by the younger population in the workforce. Trust me when I say, my 26 and 28-year-old daughters remind me every day that I’m jumping into a new generation. Just this weekend I was out to lunch with my oldest daughter and three of her friends when my daughter glanced over at the size of the font on my phone and started laughing hysterically. Then, one by one, they passed the phone around the table, and the level of laughter got higher and higher… to the point that everyone around us wanted in on the joke. Thank goodness, I’m able to laugh at myself, which serves me well in these situations.
But seriously, as I journey through life, I believe that “age isn’t just a number.” It’s so much more than that. Age is a good number, especially in the workplace, and here are just a few of the reasons why:
• We don’t have to experience a “first situation” again, because we’ve lived through at least 100 different scenarios, and know how to handle each one with poise… no matter what’s thrown at us.
• We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, and know exactly how to respond to each.
• We’ve experienced failure at a level our kids couldn’t fathom. As a result of failure, we’re so much stronger and wiser in going forward adverse situations. The power of failure can’t be underestimated. Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus of global advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, offers this career advice for those just starting out: Fail fast, learn from it, and move on.
• We have an inner peace that radiates from us in a way that only someone with age and experience has.
• We’re interesting individuals simply because of the stories we can tell. We could write a book on good teams/bad teams, good bosses/bad bosses, good cultures/bad cultures, advantages of a large corporation vs. small—you name it, we’ve lived it!
Leveraging the Value of an Age-Diverse Workforce, an executive briefing from the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Foundation and AARP, lays out the benefits of age diversity and why it’s critical for success. One of their key findings is that age diversity in the workplace can improve organizational performance. Studies also show that productivity in both older and younger workers is higher in companies with mixed-age work teams. And age diversity within work teams is positively related to performance when groups are involved in complex decision-making tasks.
So, the next time you hear from somebody that “age is just a number,” correct them and say, “age is a good number.”
Here at T-ROC, I’ve never felt discriminated against by my age. Sure, I’ve felt silly when the IT Department asks me for my Apple ID and I can’t remember it for the life of me. But I’ve come to learn that’s normal for my age and is a minor annoyance compared to what those of our age has to offer.
There’s a quote from Brett Beveridge, our CEO, that I absolutely love:
“At T-ROC, diversity is what makes us run, but inclusion is what makes us soar. When employees truly belong and are surrounded by positive energy there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”
So my message to all of my fellow friends in and around my age is to embrace who you have become with all your years of experience and simply enjoy your position in life. You have so much to offer the workforce and the world.
Mary Jo Liesch (MJ) is Vice President of Business Development with T-ROC, a global retail solutions provider. To learn more about how MJ and T-ROC can work with your brand or manufacturer on innovative solutions, you can reach her at [email protected].