The latest unemployment reports are looking upbeat. Looks like lots of new jobs were added in January. But according to the Labor Department, the group that’s been hit the hardest from the recession and it’s aftermath are the 50 to 60-year-old Baby Boomers. And the really bad news, according to the recent New York Times article “In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better . . . It’s Brutal,” this could even impact their life expectancy.
I got to thinking about this, and talked to a few of my male friends in that age range. They told me that they have realized that their prime earning years are history, yet they are not yet eligible for Medicare or Social Security. Even so, I was surprised: the majority said that they have chosen to just drop out of the workforce. What?
My thoughts, of course, went right to what I know best. The inside sales employment world is booming right now, and new hires are being added every quarter. Why not consider hiring more of this demographic?
Here’s what these guys will need to think about:
1. Pull out the stops: The older you get, the harder it becomes to quickly absorb and retain new knowledge. But it’s far from impossible! They will need to clean up the noise that has built up in the cranial sacral arteries and start soaking up new info.
2. Get over yourself: They will need to get comfortable taking direction from a boss who is much younger and has less life experience.
3. Join in: They cannot be the lone wolf- staying far removed from the water cooler gossip, the happy-hour drinks, and the Hunger Games discussion. They need to get in and participate as an equal.
4. Keep it short and sweet: They tend to be too w-o-r-d-y with their explanations. In an industry that values a sound-byte communications style, they will get chewed up alive if they talk too slowly.
5. Toughen up: Rejection is a daily occurrence in sales, so they must toughen up, learn to come back with some go-to rebuttals, and move on to the next prospect.