You know, I’m beginning to think that 50 is the new retirement. Particularly for those of us who refuse to bite our tongues or pretend to go along to get along on jobs! Regardless of how much longer many of us live or how much better we look, working until our mid-sixties just might be a thing of the past! Instead of working for someone else, maybe it’s our time to prepare for REINVENTION instead of retirement. Yes! By the 50th mark, it is time to volunteer, mentor or work for your damn self! I find the closer I get to 50, the harder it is to respect ill-prepared or premature young professionals in leadership positions.
And it is not from a disrespectful, insubordinate or defiant space! I actually prefer STRONG AND ORGANIZED leadership… as loooooong as it is FAIR AND CONSISTENT!!!! I am all about following and respecting procedures and policies. It’s just, around the 50th mark, most of us have seen and heard a lot! No! we are not perfect. Old and lazy fools do exist! LOL! However, as a highly trained and qualified professional and life-learner with thirty years of work experience, I am not interested in coddling the insecurities and inadequacies of young professionals while they are paid to lead and manage employees. I have played many positions, earned multiple degrees, attended tons of trainings, worked in all types of environments, served all kinds of bosses and even performed in leadership roles myself. Needless to say, I may come off as challenging and intimidating, but not to an effective, qualified leader with management finesse and confidence.
Overall, EXPERIENCE usually equips us with hindsight and 20/20 vision when it comes to people, places and problems. Unfortunately, working under those with minimum experience and shallow wisdom is like watching a brand new driver take the steering wheel, and putting the livelihoods of all her passengers in danger. The younger and inexperienced driver has read all of the latest driving books, attended the most popular drivers conferences/workshops and earned the required driver ed degrees. However, the young driver thinks mainly about the power behind the wheel, the excitement of driving for the first time or the final destination. The experienced driver, on the other hand, has already navigated the traffic jams, police stops, speed bumps and road detours.
And since brutal honesty can sometimes outweigh polite filters when spewed out the mouths of those in the 50+ club, experienced drivers might appear less patient. They nag and shout warnings, directions and shortcuts from their passenger side or back seat! And who likes a backseat or passenger side driver while they’re steering the wheel? Yet, when has there ever been too many eyes watching the road? Moreover, what’s competitive about people riding in the same car and arriving at the same place? Why not take the advice of a traveler with more mileage? Chances are, ” They have already been where you’re trying to go”!