Well it’s official. I am over the hill. In the last week I have seen the signs.
First, I came upon a blog post about an experienced PR professional who, during a job interview, was told unequivocally that the agency did not hire anyone over the age of 45. Then another, talking about the situation where Marketers with experience are moving out of senior positions at agencies in large numbers because the unwritten rule is that you need to be young to be creative (apparently young is well under 45). To add insult to injury, a young(er) supplier told me she couldn’t teach me how to program Flash, while she could teach my younger colleague, because I was too old to learn. The nerve! Oh, and the final blow –manufacturing of the typewriter has been discontinued, which I imagine is what this young woman thinks I am using.
I hear and read all sorts of information about Baby Boomers not being able to retire because they can’t/won’t be able to afford it. And about the Gen Xers who follow the Boomers who will be in worse straits, because there won’t be any funds left in the Government pension plans to even allow them to consider retirement, if they haven’t been planning and saving since they were 12.
Yet I have seen articles predicting that if the majority of management level execs born between the years 1945 and 1965 do retire, there are not enough experienced people in the pipeline to replace them. The suggestion is that this may lead to problems with business, and the economy as a whole, if this results in too many companies being improperly managed.
What a Dilemma!
So I’m getting mixed messages here. I’m past my “best before date” in terms of PR, have lost my creative edge due to age when it comes to Marketing, and have fallen into the category of “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” when it comes to technology.
Should I just gracefully accept that I should get ready to go out to pasture?
On the other hand, I may not be able to afford to retire.
And if I can and do retire, taking my valuable expertise and leaving the work force, I may contribute to industry, and perhaps the economy as a whole, suffering.
What’s an (old) girl to do?
I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to keep doing what I am doing! Change, grow, adapt, learn, learn, learn. I will look forward, keeping in mind experience of the past. I will glance back, to verify my route, moving ahead. And I’ll share with anyone who’s interested, knowing I’ll get what I need, but not necessarily what I want.
I plan to help redefine the concept of “old age”. But first of all, I’d like to rename it. I think I’ll call it “extreme adulthood”.
So stick around! I will.