When Covid arrived, life certainly changed. It many cases, it created completely unheard-of problems and situations. But in other areas, it simply sped up a process that was already well underway, making that already existing trend much more obvious.
One example of that has been the gradual retirements taken by the baby boomers (generation born between 1946 and 1964). According to Pew Research, we typically see around 2 million baby boomers retire in any given year. But in 2020, we saw 3.2 million leave the workforce. Source: Pew Research Center While the trend was already underway, Covid has created what could be called a mass exodus of this generation from the workplace. Upon quick reflection, this result may not be all that shocking. With Covid, we have seen layoffs, furloughs, an increased health risk for anyone over the age of 60, and a number of new potential hazards. Covid seems to have given us reasons to re-assess how we live and work. And for many, it just made sense to leave the workforce and focus on self-care.
Naturally, the large number of boomers leaving the workforce will have an impact. There will be questions about who will replace these individuals, how to develop workers with the right skills, etc. But those concepts are for another day. Instead, we want to focus on saying thank you to the baby boomer generation and on acknowledging their many contributions. So, whether you’re a boomer who’s retired or you’re still doing the daily grind, this blog is for you!
In so many ways, the baby boomer generation has paved the way for us all. Determined to succeed and build things, these individuals entered the workforce in droves. In fact, this generation of workers saw a huge increase in the number of women who joined the workforce. They were (and still are!) an industrious and hard-working group.
With this generation, it isn’t uncommon to hear about employees who have been with the same employer for over 20 years. They are a pragmatic, get-things-done kind of group. Before the age of remote work, they were the workers who would wake up extra early to be able to clean the driveway and the car on a cold winter morning to still be at work on time. They taught us a lot about hard work and dedication.
As we joined the workforce, it was the boomers who trained and mentored us. They took us under their wing to pass the torch and give us the skills we needed to be successful. Years later, many of us have climbed the ranks into higher-level positions. And now, it’s our turn to pay it forward for the next group entering the workforce.
To all baby boomers, thank you for putting in the time and the work to build the things we have now. And thank you for sharing your knowledge with us so we can continue what you started. As we look into the future, we are excited about all the special things each generation brings to the table and the legacy they leave behind.