Baby boomers are living a much different reality than our parents did in all facets of life. Nowhere is the change more evident than in our jobs.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics report from September 2010 shows that many boomers have worked an average of 10-12 jobs from age 18 to age 44.
Many boomers began working in their teens and will continue to work into their 60s or beyond. This is much different than our parents.
Many of our dads worked for one employer for 20, 30 or 40 years. Many of our moms were homemakers who were always home when we returned from school.
Few of us will work for one employer for our entire career. Some will retire from one job only to begin another. Others will suddenly find their jobs eliminated or changed significantly.
Sometimes, you are the architect of workplace changes. More frequently, change is something that happens to you as a result of changes made by your employer.
Often you become an unwilling participant in the change. Although it's not easy to watch your entire life change, it's even harder to take part in that change.
Downsizing companies, technological advances, a down economy and other changes in the world can cause your entire life to spin out of control, often with very little notice.
The 'pink slip' of yesteryear has been replaced in some companies by armed guards who greet you at the door, escort you to your office and permit you to remove your personal items on the day you didn't know would be your last day at work.
Although it may seem morally wrong for companies to give employees little or no notice of upcoming changes, it has become the new normal.
How can you prepare for this kind of sudden change? The short answer is that you can't. Although you may be able to prepare financially, preparing mentally is another matter.
Most of us take pride in doing a good job every day, feeling that we are contributing to the company's goals.
To suddenly be told that the company will get along just fine without you is what my mom called 'a swift kick in the teeth.'
A positive attitude is the best tool you can have when facing workplace changes. Whether your job has been eliminated or changed, you've taken early retirement, or you have a difficult new boss, fighting the change will just wear you down.
Surround yourself with positive people and emotions. In the words of an old Irish proverb, "A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything."
There are many helpful tools you can use to face life changes. It can be helpful to find additional sources of positive thinking.
The Oola Life can help you find balance in your personal or professional life. 'Oola' is defined as, "The state of awesomeness when you are in the zone and life is balanced and growing in the seven key areas."
The key areas in the Oola Life include fitness, finance, family, field, faith, friends and fun. Three simple steps to the Oola Life, as noted in a recent tweet from the Oola Guru offer a great way to face changes anywhere in your life.
- Be honest with where you are today.
- Visualize where you want to go.
- Have a plan to get there.
The simple concepts of having balance in your life and looking forward instead of dwelling on the past can help you find your way through the maze of change that many boomers face in the workplace.