There are two groups of people who are struggling to find employment in the workplace. Gen Y (recent college graduates) and Boomers (soon to be retired). These groups are on the fringe of the game. Gen Y, green, with little to no experience, lack an understanding of what’s really going on in the world of work. Boomers, if they were honest, have been coasting towards retirement and are not as engaged in their work as they once may have been.
I believe in survival of the fittest.
In order to stay competitive and innovative, I don’t think any business should be forced to hire less than fully capable employees. However, I also believe that we must do more to recognize and value the unique qualities of these two sets of unemployed by including their unique abilities into our workforce. We need the morals, values and wisdom that comes from the Boomers. We also need the technical savvy and quick thinking of Gen Y. These groups of people need to learn survival skills. They can learn from each other!
By partnering new graduates with the almost-retired we create the opportunity for them to learn from each other and build greater respect for their differences and capabilities. It engages the older worker and enlightens the new worker.
These mentoring relationships can be facilitated by high schools, colleges and universities. They can also be fostered by networking groups and professional associations.
Photo by xflickrx
It Isn’t Just About Getting a Job
Why is this important? It isn’t just about getting them jobs. It is about building community and respect. We shouldn’t and can’t leave these groups out of the game. We must bring them up to speed on what is happening in the world of work today.
I don’t think we can’t afford to pay unemployment, medicare and social security like we have in the past. We need everyone to step up and make a commitment to do what’s right. Let’s not leave anyone out of the workforce who doesn’t want to be left out.
Photo by kanu101
What can you do today to bring Gen Y and Boomers into the workforce?
If your company is serious about bridging communication between these generations, improving operations, improving employee and customer engagement, dedicate resources and find training to help you bridge the gap.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.