I’m having an adventure. I should say, WE, are having an adventure. Dennis and I, in the full throes of empty nest syndrome, are restless about what comes next. The good news is that we still enjoy each others’ company and are excited about the next chapter of our lives.
Which is where things start to get confusing. Having worked for the past three decades to afford a home, a family, and two NYU diplomas, we find ourselves without a concrete vision for what comes next.
So, we started to talk about moving back to Boston – where we both lived at the time we met. Those years between college and settling down were fun for both us, but we didn’t know each other then. Twenty-seven years ago, we met, married and moved to a very small town within a few months. We never shared an urban adventure, and so we started looking at condos in the city of Boston – big bucks, little spaces, but a level of energy that’s hard to match out on the tombolo.
And we started to talk about timing for retirement – a milestone that’s seemed like a fantasy for so long it’s hard to imagine it will be reality within a decade or less. We’ve done the financial planning, we just haven’t crafted the vision for how we spend our days. I’ve written about my great fortune in matters matrimonial before. One of the reasons our marriage works is that Dennis is good at soaring vision, while I’m good at project planning and management. Between the two of us, we generate a lot of forward momentum.
Which brings us back to the question of moving – or not. We came to realize we weren’t ready to leave the tombolo, but decided that didn’t need to stand in the way of an urban adventure. We moved into a condo in Boston for two months to test our resolve while we get some work done on our house. Leveraging a lot of years of change management experience, we’re “piloting” a different way of living without abandoning the foundation we’ve already built.
In life, just as in work, half the battle is just getting started. Stay tuned.
Earlier this month, I had a discussion with Workforce Institute board members David Creelman, Mark Lange and Dr. Tim Porter O’Grady about their perspectives on how changes in the age demographics of the workplace are likely to impact organizations. There have been multiple stories about this in the news lately including this recent NPR broadcast about delayed retirement, this Towers Perrin report on attitudes toward retirement, and this article by Peter Cappelli in HRE on the need for changing perceptions of older workers as more delay retirement. All of these sources point to a trend toward later retirements, driven not only by economic factors like the recession and needed health benefits, but also by the desire of older workers to stay engaged in the world of work. On the other end of the demographic spectrum, younger workers are entering the workplace with an equally keen desire to work, although arguably under a different employment contract than their elders were willing to accept.
I asked our panelists to talk about both boomer and millenial workers and what the future holds. We recorded the discussion of these questions. You can access their responses by clicking on the links below.
Question 1: For the better part of the last decade, there has been a lot of discussion and much written about how the retirement of the baby boomers would create significant deficits in the supply of labor. To what extent do you think those predictions have or will come true?
Panel Discussion of Baby Boom Retirement Implications for the Workplace
Question 2: There are mixed reviews of the Millennial generation – generally thought of as those born after 1980. What are your thoughts about the newest generation of workers and what contributions they’re likely to make to the organizations that employ them?
Panel Discussion of Millenials’ impact in the workplace
Bonus Feature! Readings and video suggested by our board members during this podcast:
Millenials Rising – Howe & Strauss
Drive – Daniel Pink
Dan Pink video about surprising aspects of what motivates us. (Hint – for knowledge work, it’s not money…)