On Labor Day 2008, I happily note that my employment prospects are brighter today than they have been for three decades.
And this, despite my newly acquired status as a senior citizen!
As it happens, my particular skills that I would bring to the work place—more general than specific—are in high demand. And, in a stroke of unusual good fortune, western Pennsylvania businesses are eagerly recruiting workers.
No matter where I go—to the gas station, the convenience store, Starbucks, any of the retail giants like Target, Ace Hardware or Costco—positions are posted for all levels of employees.
Giant Eagle, the large supermarket chain that services Pennsylvania, has staffers old enough to be my father pushing carts and stocking shelves.
Bruster's Real Ice Cream is looking for a production manager, the job of my dreams.
That mature Americans are much in demand is no surprise. The advantages we offer far outweigh our drawbacks.
AARP in conjunction with Towers Perrin Consulting recently completed a study that found that seniors offer six key attributes not generally found in younger employees.
First, motivation. Older workers are among the most motivated in the workplace, In fact, employees over 50 are more likely to exceed job expectations than younger workers. Highly motivated employees are described as "extremely likely" to satisfy customers, affect product quality and control costs.
According to the study, workers 55 and older had an average "motivation score" of 78.4, compared to 71.2 for those 18 to 29.
Companies with highly engaged workers, the study noted, are more likely to exceed their industry-average revenue growth and sport a lower than average cost of goods sold.
Older workers have minuses, although only a few. We have less physical strength and are stubborn—that is, less willing to learn and perform new tasks.
Still, if my employer hands me the keys and tells me to open the shop at 5:00 AM, he can rest easy the night before.
The logical conclusion is that companies should have two sets of employees—young and old—to satisfy their corporate requirements as well as their customers' needs.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.