Home Concepts Adult Development Boomers, Escape From Your Bubble!

Boomers, Escape From Your Bubble!

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As published in Career Planning and Adult Development Journal Volume 26, Number 2, Winter 2011.  Golden Boomers.

For decades Boomers have been working hard and sacrificing…and expecting it to pay off.  We pretty much perfected the profile of the workaholic–sometimes to the detriment of family, health and personal life.  Those who coined the phrase “don’t trust anyone over thirty” are now turning 60 in record numbers. Many are asking some version of the questions “How did I get here and where do I go? What can I do to make a difference?” Daniel Pink tells us, in his latest book DRiVE, “There are78 million people in the Boomer generation–and I’m at the caboose of the Boomer Generation-who started turning 60 a few years ago, who will continue to turn 60 until 2024. That’s 100 Boomers turning 60 every 13 minutes in this country. Every 13 minutes another 100 Boomers are … asking those kinds of questions.” Career choices remain of paramount importance to the Boomer generation, and we are seeing the signs: No One Will Give You a Job.

The Boomer Bubble Bursts

What about retirement? Next year, 2011, is the year the oldest Boomers turn 65!  Does this mean they are going to retire (or want to)?  Not anymore. Can they count on keeping their jobs or get new ones? Not anymore.  However, Boomers have resilience, resourcefulness–and options.  Boomers may lose their jobs, but not their experience and wisdom.  That’s what we’ll focus on: assets, choices, actions–and, above all, strategies.  I’m advocating a point of view that transcends the “Boomer Bubble”–my term for the insular boomer-only world view that ceased to serve us well many years ago.   I’m writing this in the first person–reflecting my story as well as my multiple points of view.  I am an executive and career coach (since 1995), an educator, and an older Boomer.  All roles are relevant to the work I do and the strategies I create for myself and with my clients.

As a coach:  I provide one-on-one individualized attention during the process of transitioning to a new position or career. I also work with professionals who want to personally redefine retirement and create a post-retirement career. Coaching works best with those people who are highly motivated, work well independently and are open to embracing new methodologies and technologies and making significant changes. It is a balanced approach to career and life planning. I was also instrumental in the creation of the award-winning coaching initiative in UTD’s Executive MBA program, and continue to serve as an executive coach in that program.

As an educator: I’m co-founder and Associate Director of the Executive and Professional Coaching Program at the University of Texas at Dallas, in the School of Management.  I teach, counsel and coach a lot of highly-motivated Boomers (side-by-side with their colleagues, the Gen Xers).  Students join our program for career change, professional credentials, and/ or enhancement of leadership skills, and.  They include internal and external coaches, and are enhancing their careers and shifting to new careers. I’m on the faculty, and guide the Coaching Practicum, curriculum and credentialing for this ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). For some Boomers this program allows them to incorporate all of their wisdom and experience and create a perfect career that could not have existed 20 years ago.

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