It’s crucial for all industries and fields to reach out to the 50-plus demographic; some of the most savvy are doing so. Higher education is no exception. Both Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter at Harvard and a spanking-new initiative at Stanford University are trawling for a new kind of student seeking to reinvent the next stage after midlife. Stanford openly espouses that it wants to attract proven leaders with twenty to thirty years of work experience on the hunt to reinvent their futures.
University and advanced adult education and professional development programs are the future. No doubt a proliferation of new higher education programs modeled off of the Harvard and Stanford programs will emerge over the next decades.
I’ve been known to get rather passionate when I speak about the paucity of career changers and younger generations enrolled or even interested in the field of aging. Both are leaving money on the table and growing opportunities in the dust.
I want to rant and rave that the aging field is not all about changing bedpans. Don’t get me wrong; personal care for the frail elderly and disabled is a critical task for one of the fastest growing careers today as a health care worker.
Rather, what I’m so excited about are the enormous possibilities for meaningful work in serving the maturing 40-plus market, and those succeeding generations who will soon be 40-plussers themselves. That’s why in this chapter I’m compelled to include the trend information relating to new careers in aging.
Yet we continue to read and hear from the media that Millennials have no opportunities before them, or that Boomers and Millennials will continue to fight for job positions. Give me a break! There are so many untapped career opportunities in the aging field (and it’s tangential fields) that no one needs to be out of work! That is, not if they are trained and skilled, especially those with a long career history.
Just take a look at the numbers: The United States Census Bureau and Civic Ventures project reports that by 2030, Ameri- cans age 55 and older will number 107.6 million, 31 percent of the population. Those over 65 will account for 20 percent of the total population. The Nielsen study reports that by 2017 Baby Boomers will control 70 percent of America’s disposable income. This is a market to be reckoned with, so it’s best to get on the new millennium job growth curve in the field of aging sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you may miss an incredible opportunity of these times for your career, your business, or your organization.
Please be advised that everything in the field of aging is morphing rapidly, creating an exciting plethora of emerging opportunities in a variety of specialty roles and services. Not only because of the swelling ranks of the over-50s, but because the field of aging is evolving at warp speed. It’s not just bedpans anymore.
My goal here is to make sure you stay with me and not get turned off to this meaningful, high-impact field as your possible “what’s next” or as your new marketplace to increase your market share. So I’m going to ask you to stay with me while I share an overview of the aging field’s history right up to today…and tomorrow.
As I write, there is a great deal of healthy Creative Destruction going on in the aging field. The new “older adult” demo- graphic of Leading-Edge Boomers is wreaking havoc on the longtime preferred and universally accepted disease model of aging that has long been the underpinning of the field.
I’m a rabid fan of transforming the language, symbolism, and narrative around aging. Our languaging, especially around hot-button topics, reveals what’s not being said out loud or what is still unconscious and informs how we perceive or imagine things to be. So let’s start off with the languaging, including commonly accepted definitions and how they are integrally entwined with the history of the aging field.
- Download a FREE mini-book, “The Origins of the New HERstory of Our AGE“ based on The Ageless Way
- Seeking a Firecracker Keynote
- Calling for expert guests?
- Let’s Rock Your AGE, come pick my brain!
- Join me in my Facebook Group “The Ageless Way Explorers Coalition.”
- Join me in my Facebook Group “The Greatness Challenge.”