How many baby boomers (the 76 million people born between 1946 through 1964) over 50 have thought about life after a career in business? How many baby boomers have left (or lost) gainful, productive employment in the Great Recession and feel out of synch with the changing job market? And what are these folks going to do until they retire (can they afford to even think of retirement)?
Have these baby boomers been looking at labor market statistics lately? There is reason for optimism.
You see many baby boomers may be thinking they are irrelevant in this new economy. They may have been laid off and, after a period of unemployment and many attempts at getting another job may have lost focus.
Other baby boomers may still be employed, seemingly to enjoy the fruits of their hard work, only to be looking over their shoulder at the new economy’s requirement for a different focus – and hoping they do not become irrelevant before their time.
1. You are Relevant
They may think they are irrelevant. But in fact, their talents, values, and behaviors – not to mention their experience in managing a variety of business situations are increasingly in demand. Just not in the area they are used to.
I work with a lot of baby boomers. It’s fair to say many feel uncertain, insignificant, and dis-connected to work. Think about it. Our parents retired at 65. Based on some simple math baby boomers thought they should start retiring in 2011, continuing on through 2026. If we buy into their logic (and Social Security Administration logic) then we should be retiring at 65 as well. So should we retire when we still have the ability to contribute, to serve, to share? Why should we accept what we were told?
What I’m suggesting is that our parents’ logic on retirement doesn’t need to apply to us. Just because we are 65 doesn’t mean our brains and bodies stop functioning. One of my friends is 68 – and he is very excited about continuing to work, for quite some time.
Oh, I neglected to mention one key statistic. If baby boomers do decide to retire, there will not be enough workers to serve parts of the younger work force. Even though total employment in the United States is expected to increase by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020, the percent of the labor force age 55 and older will increase from 19.5% to 25. 2% in 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2. Assess your Assets
How about looking first at your talents, values, and behavioral assets. Combine these with your business expertise. And consider the opportunity to go into business for yourself. I am not talking about starting a brand new entrepreneurial enterprise. I’ve found that some people are real good at that. But most are better at learning an existing business system and structure and making it work.
3. Think business first – and franchise second
The model is simple. Every well run business has great operations, marketing, sales, public relations, purchasing, training, and software systems that work well together. The point is – they have well developed systems, a strong mission and vision, and strategies, and objectives to drive their business to grow.
4. Learn the Secret to Success
Every well run franchise business has the same characteristics. The secret is that you don’t have to create the systems to run the business. Great franchises have already developed them. What they need are people (read baby boomers) who want to use their accumulated wealth of talents, values, behavioral assets, and business expertise to own and run a profitable franchise.
Some franchise models are the hands-on type, yet there are executive models as well where you can have others implement while you build and manage. You may be a leader, sales, operations, or a customer service expert. Guess what? There is a franchise model that fits you.
5. Just Do It! Courtesy of Nike
Yes, we have all seen the ads. We have thought about running faster than the rest. But how many have actually acted, run out, and bought those shoes? Are you ready for the next great action in your baby boomer career? If so, Just Do It! We are here to help.