If you retired would your company hire you back?
Statistics tell us you’ll be stepping into your post-career years with:
- A lack of savings;
- A fear of spending;
- A sense of irrelevance; and,
- An eternal search for something to do.
It’s clear Boomers are unlikely to leave the workforce willingly. But if you do find yourself on the outside looking in, you’re likely to want to Boomerang back. For money. Or to regain purpose in your life.
Either way, you’ll be in good company.
According to the report, America’s Aging Workforce, 85 percent of the Boomer population will continue to work into their 70s and 80s. Finding that work, however, will not be easy. So it makes good sense to start with who you know.
That’s likely to be the company from which you just retired.
The questions is – will they hire you back?
Perhaps. If you left in good standing. Demonstrated solid business acumen during your tenure. Had a track record of good corporate citizenship. And – as a bonus – could point to a history of internal volunteerism on projects that contributed to the betterment of the company.
That kind of give-back might make the case to rehire you an easy inside sell.
You’ll need the advantage. Because the road leading to that job will be filled with competition.
Will Good Corporate Citizenship Make Your Company Hire You Back?
There are no guarantees.
But clever to build a story that’s well-remembered by your current employer. Or if need be, well-told to your next.
Here’s what’s working in the background that’s already in your favor.
The mass exodus of elder brain trust from the workplace will continue, full strength, for the next 8 – 10 years. The acumen, experience, and cultural awareness that made your company strong in the first place, will go missing.
At the same time, it’s a tighter job market, with a lack of younger, talented workers. To compensate for the shortfall, companies will need to rehire retirees at an unprecedented rate. That’s a combination that can throw a flattering spotlight on a wisdom worker like yourself.
But getting a job won’t be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Start Planning Before You Retire
You’ll need to put together a plan well in advance of your expected retirement date. Or well before your retirement date is planned for you.
This is about the development of projects meaningful to you. Programs that are tuned in to your authentic interests. Bring your passions to the task. It will make selling your idea to management an easier task.
Swing for the fences if you want to get noticed.
Remember to associate your projects with the deeply held beliefs of your company and a strong connection to the bottom-line. Measure the political viability and timeliness of your plan before you begin.
It will be critical to enlist the sponsorship of a trusted leader or Human Resources executive to bring speed and gravitas to the equation. Someone you trust.
I offer the suggestions below as a starter-kit.
Develop an Internal Boomer Group
What will the mobilization of Boomers provide for your company?
In a word: engagement.
Forty million of us remain in the workplace. Many have been marginalized, demoted or left behind. The magnitude of engagement lost by Boomers being forced to the sidelines impacts innovation, customer satisfaction, and speed-to-market.
That’s a direct hit to the bottom-line.
Add multi-generational team members to your group. A cross-pollination of ideas will make the output more vital.
Develop specific programs that encourage re-engagement of disaffected Boomers.
Together with the above, or as a separate effort, you can –
Develop a Boomer Intranet Site
Create transparency surrounding the internal process of retirement. Make it visible and accessible. Boomers don’t want to set off internal alarms by being forced to talk to managers or HR about preliminary plans.
Advertise extra-curricular involvement on corporate projects that need expertise and experience. The company would benefit from the acumen of its most experienced employees.
Publish articles that attract younger generations to the site. Highlight benchmarked projects successfully concluded by multi-generational teams.
Encourage inter-generational social connections within the company, and informal meetings to discuss topical subjects.
An intranet site is an opportunity to demonstrate the company’s concern about the good will between all generations.
Strengths Finder is one of Amazon’s best-selling publications of all-time.
The book identifies the talent of The Developer, as a core strength for Boomers. A Developer recognizes and cultivates potential in others. Boomers are, therefore, natural coaches and mentors.
It’s a big miss when wisdom-workers are not given an opportunity to mentor.
Mentoring younger generations will fill the knowledge gap left by departing Boomers, strengthen skills and develop generational synergies.
Mentor New Hires
Start the knowledge-experience transfer early.
If escorted through the on-boarding process by a company’s most experienced employees, new hires will learn the ropes quickly. Revenue producing status will be reached faster. Job confidence will develop long before it might have without this hands-on support.
Offer Master Classes on a number of relevant topics during new hire training. With Boomers as teachers.
Mentor Millennial Managers
Fasten your seat belts.
Here’s a concept. Boomers mentoring Millennial managers.
The antipathy between these two generations is not fake news. But it can be over-inflated. Self-perpetuating.
It sounds politically problematic, but everything lives in the execution.
Select an organizationally-sensitive leader to build and run the program with you. Include reverse mentoring to make it mutually beneficial to all parties.
A bridge too far? Perhaps. But worth piloting.
The Point is This
The stakes are high if you need to remain employed.
It’s smart business to suggest meaningful improvement. Good managers will support what makes them look smart. You’ll enjoy greater visibility to key decision-makers
Develop your business case with the same acumen you’d use with an important client.
Be humble, but confident, as you proceed. You’ll need the help of many others to get lift-off for your idea. Not everyone will share your enthusiasm. This will require all of your honed business skills.
In the end, that’s what will be recognized.