What's age got to do with it?
‘Yuk, I’m so old!’ announced my 30 something colleague. Another shared ‘I’m ancient ‘ to be fair I think he’s older than me ….my reaction a wry smile. I know I’m older than my 30 something colleague and some days I wonder how I ended up as the older colleague remembering when I was the twenty something wondering what the fifty somethings in our office did for fun! In those days once we hit Wednesday we were out every night willing Saturday to come around. Sunday was recovery/catch up/ re-group with the family day, only to do it all again the next week. We were always planning festival trips, gig tickets and one year I managed to visit New York, Barbados and Ibiza...it was the best of times....
I’m not a fan of getting older and as a woman in the work place, society doesn’t always view me in a positive way. But what I have gleaned from my life experience to date that at some point we'll all be the older member of staff. But it's made me think about how I show up - when I was 20, my older colleagues always seemed to be counting the days to retirement. But as the workplace has changed and I'm the older member of staff, I find myself wanting to learn more and I'm energised by the connections I make.
So I’m more watchful but also I understand myself better to help me navigate the workplace. Multigenerational spaces make so much sense, as diversity and inclusion don’t end with race. Maybe it’s time I announced ‘I feel so young/youthful/engerised' ( or just happy). These days, by mid-week I'm thinking about which cultural arts events I can check out, planning where we go for dinner or what to cook and finding time to catch up with family and friends with some exercise thrown in ....and of course enjoy a glass of wine or two!
But as we all embrace our diverse workspaces, keep an eye out for the older women & men with the wry smile as they think to themselves ‘hipster, I'm just getting started!’
Image: Jason Goodman Unsplash