Friday, September 30, 2016

Numbers Are Not Always What They Seem

I have held the same job for about 17 years. I was a youthful 40 year old when I started. Before that I had kind of bounced around a bit, looking for a good fit.  This job worked pretty well. Now, if something happens, the company closes, layoffs, or if I just decide to move on my age will be an issue. I am 57 years old, and that, by many of today’s standards.

Certainly, I am not as spry as I once was. But, the accumulated knowledge of the years has provided a solid foundation for effectively dealing with life’s more common problems.  Having worked with such a varied and disparate work force has given opportunities to grow, expand, and find common ground, and build relationships with divergent personalities. It has made me a better leader.

Having worked for a wide variety of managers, and supervisors, I have learned that despite my constant beliefs in my own infallibility that sometimes I am wrong. It is easier to adapt to changing situations, as the years have provided ample opportunity to move forward, assimilate different styles and implement the requests of widely varied superiors. My age has made me a better follower.

Five years ago I quit smoking. I am much more careful about what I eat. I have been going to the
gym every other day for the past two years. My health is not a concern. In fact, it is better than it has been in years. I walk past the elevator to take the stairs. Yogurt in my lunch is a treat, and I drink enough water to float a yacht. My age has made me a cautious, careful, considerate person.

Due to my age I live better, I live healthier, and I am a better employee. But, if I go looking for another job all they are going to see is the number. It is not a definition, it is a milepost. I have lived this long but it does not mean living is almost over. To look at one point of data and not the person is not a mistake a person with a vast wealth of experience would make. It doesn’t seem quite right.

From my favorite Old Guy, Bob Dylan.

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