We’re all in the same aging rowboat

| November 16, 2021

Let us consider an analogy for our ageing population for a moment.

It’s a little dark but bear with me, because there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Imagine our population as a rowboat, and we have at the oars a couple of government policy makers, a couple of community organisation leaders, a couple of mature individuals and a couple of fortune 500 CEO’s.

For the moment, I’d like to consider myself your Coxswain – in charge of the navigation – well at least for the duration of this article anyway.

We few tired, muscle sore and thirsty rowers have been charged with getting this boat to a safe harbour.

As I mentioned, the boat is getting older even as we row. There is water leaking in. Such that each new pull on the oars is harder and harder, even as our strength wanes.

But we’re all in the boat together – government, organisations and mature individuals.

And actually, we all need to row to make sure we make it. Otherwise this boat is going to sink.

Age Discrimination is the waves beating against the boat as a barrier to our progress. Along with lack of exposure of this ‘scourge on society’, lack of ongoing training of our mature workers, lack of policy, lack of teeth in our legislation.

These are shoals on which we could founder at any moment.

But all pulling in the same direction. Government enacting good strong policy, funding community awareness. Chasing down ageist work practices and putting it to the legal sword.

Organisations recognising the huge current and future value of mature, experienced and loyal employees.

Individuals keeping themselves current in their jobs, committing to life long learning, and not standing for being left out of workplace opportunity. More such individuals skilling themselves up to take advantage of the fact that 80 per cent of organisations want more freelance work forces in the future. More still, starting their own enterprises, and abolishing the effect of discrimination by taking control of their own boat.

 All of this is an analogy, this rowboat journey isn’t real. But all the barriers are most definitely real in our economy. Ninety per cent of people agree that ageism is real. Sixty-three per cent say they’ve experienced it in the last five years. Sixty-eight per cent of organisations that have an age above which they are reluctant to hire, set that age at just 50 years old.

These mega trends, mega barriers and mega opportunities are all covered in my new book – Maturity Blues – available now from our website – silverandwise.com.au/shop.

We work with government, organisations and individuals to create prosperous futures for mature workers, and those mature people seeking out a future in self employment or business ownership.

Together, we need to embrace a more mature world at work.

What can you do to help?