When Covid-19 first was announced earlier this year, many of us had no idea how it would impact our lives in the future months, including what age groups would be at risk. As time passed it was discovered that the elderly faced a significant risk of developing the illness, particularly those with underlying health conditions. The trend changed when individuals did not mask themselves and younger adults were being affected as a result; however, older adults remained a higher risk including baby boomers.
According to an AARP 50+ Coronavirus Survey of 2,796 Americans over the age of 50,
- 31% thought they or a family member would get sick from the coronavirus.
- 23% thought they or a family member would die from the coronavirus.
- 27% was concerned their investments would suffer as a result of the coronavirus.
Needless to say, like me, most of my friends are baby boomers and we all have different challenges we never thought about until this pandemic hit. For instance, some have not been able to visit loved ones or friends. Others who are close to retirement are unsure of their future. Some have not been able to spend time with their grandchildren or other family members. I had to decide whether to go and celebrate my 95-year-old father’s birthday. I was unsure about flying or driving and not being able to enter in the state of Virginia coming from Texas. Finally, I decided to fly and it all worked out; my father was a happy man. He was so glad we made it there to celebrate his birthday. Still, this pandemic has affected so many individuals all over the world.
I would like to remind everyone, including my fellow baby boomers, that your attitude will play a big role in being able to market the product called “You” and your skills. We should keep in mind the workplace will not be the same as we knew it before the pandemic. There will be a new normal with perhaps a different attitude towards management and others. As we prepare for a possible salary change or part-time employment, there are some things we can consider:
- Consulting – your depth of experience can certainly assist others in making their projects successful.
- Career Change – consider transferring your knowledge and experience to another similar career field.
- Certifications – there are several opportunities to, yes, quickly learn something new!
- Start your own business – this is perhaps a greater challenge but consider the wealth of experience you have and start small…but grow.
There’s always something on the horizon for those who persevere and embrace their future. Remember life is about change and looking for a better tomorrow. This may be a great time to develop a new outlook on life. The Workforce Solutions offices are closed to the public, but they are just a phone call away, as well as AARP. Both have websites that are full of helpful information. Be safe and mask up for your safety and others.
Carolyn Kennard is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She conducts job search skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region. Before embarking on a career in workforce development, Carolyn achieved success in marketing and training with a major oil company. Carolyn holds a B.A. degree from Virginia State University and an M.A. degree from Prairie View A&M University.