Older Workers are Good For Business.
As the executive director of Wallis Annenberg GenSpace – a new community space for older adults in Los Angeles – I have the great privilege of interacting with older adults who are at different phases in their work lives.
Some have retired and are pursuing part-time work they are passionate about. Others are working to provide for their families and ensure they have financial stability. Often, it’s a combination of the two, as older adults work to find a balance that supports them and their future.
I believe there is absolutely a place, and in fact, many places, for older adults in the workplace. The ideas, life experience, curiosity and creativity are without a doubt often an overlooked resource by employers. That very topic will be discussed in GenSpace’s latest installment of our Aging Out Loud Series: Good for Business on May 18 at 11am.
For generations, our jobs, and our careers have been an integral part of who we are. They are often how we structure our lives, provide for ourselves and our families, and can be a critical outlet for fulfillment and purpose. Our career trajectory is one of the most essential ways we plot the roadmap to our lives.
Society’s ideal career trajectory used to be: get a job, stay there for decades, save money, and retire around age 65. But, in our current world, that path has become antiquated.
The world is changing, and with new demands in our economy and the workforce, older adults are working longer than ever before – the number of workers age 75+ is projected to increase 96.5 percent by 2030. In many cases, older adults are still working to provide for themselves and their families, to make ends meet, or, importantly, to find fulfillment and purpose. They shouldn’t have to struggle to do it.
Older adults bring so much value to the workplace: they are innovating industries, contributing to profit and productivity, and staying as curious as they are wise.
I’ve been able to work alongside aging experts and industry leaders who understand that supporting an aging workforce is the key to our future. Wallis Annenberg GenSpace, a destination dedicated to enriching and expanding the lives of older adults, recently opened its doors in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Our mission is to redefine older adulthood and shift the national dialogue on aging across our industries and culture.
During our May 18 virtual event, Good for Business, we’re bringing together leaders across industries for virtual discussions and panels to talk about how to adapt to an aging workforce, why investing in older workers is smart – and necessary,-- and how to improve collaboration across generations. We’re talking to iconic influencers including Judge Judy, and industry experts including the Modern Elder himself, Chip Conley, who will join us on an intergenerational panel to share his wisdom on what it means to collaborate and bring curiosity and wisdom to the workplace at every stage of life.
From recruitment and retention practices to training and skills development, we need to shift the way businesses and employers think about and address age in the workplace – thus helping to- update and redefine society’s notion of what work, career, and purpose across our lifespans can be.
Register today to tune in to Aging Out Loud: Good For Business on May 18 and take part in this change.
Dr. Jennifer Wong is the Director of Wallis Annenberg GenSpace. Most recently, Dr. Wong was assisting the California Department of Aging, helping to develop Governor Newsom’s Master Plan on Aging as California’s over-65 population is projected to grow sharply in the next decade. Previously, she worked with Public Health – Seattle & King County in Washington, performing research and providing developmental support to improve emergency services for those with cognitive disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia. Dr. Wong completed her Doctorate in Experimental Psychology from the University of Montana, holds a Master of Arts in Psychology from Cal State Sacramento, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Francisco.