The Boom of the Boomers
The resounding boom of the Boomer Generation still reverberates. The massive “Great Resignation” has left a ripple effect throughout the world. “In 2021, more than 47 million Americans quit their jobs, and 4.5 million resigned in March 2022. Included in this number were Baby Boomers.
Many Boomers and Gen X’ers stepped aside when the pandemic hit. Millions took early retirement or resigned. Many thousands were retired involuntarily. Faced with health concerns and feeling ill-equipped to take their work remote, they chose to throw in the proverbial towel, leaving serious gaps in the workforce. Boomers chose to spend more time with family and focus on priorities that were not related to work.
Though less likely to be overly concerned about the COVID virus in a “been there-done that attitude,” nearly 80% of COVID deaths were Boomers. Age was a factor as well as underlying health conditions.
The Great Resignation accelerated the already shortfall of workers including pilots, truck drivers, clinicians, trade and construction workers, farmers, and other professions. Employers have loosened qualifications desperate to fill the needs more quickly. Some have dropped the requirement for a four-year degree. Others are amending the forced retirement age to allow older employees to remain in their positions longer.
Despite the numbers, which the avalanche of resignations reflect, there is evidence many Boomers are once again rallying and reentering the workforce. The fastest inflation in decades has added to the pressure to return to work. Finding their retirement savings less than adequate and a more age-receptive working climate, Boomers are amenable to going back to work. There is an uptick in hiring seniors in teaching and school-related jobs, restaurants, theaters, stadiums, construction, business, and professional services.
Churches, as well, are utilizing the skills of older members. Senior ministries include visiting the sick, assisting with food banks, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, construction projects and more. Psalm 71:18 says, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” Job proclaims, “wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.” A “great resignation” should not occur for our seniors in the churches. Senior adults are less likely to quit and more likely to show up. They offer the wisdom of years of experience. They have time to spare. When older adults are allowed to contribute, they feel needed and successful and wanted. It gives purpose to their lives. Mentorship is the new wave of training in the workforce. Who better to mentor than those who have years of life to fall back on?
Let the boom continue to reverberate. Use the wisdom of the senior adult to bless your lives and ministries and, employ them in the workforce.
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