As we age, we gain the benefit of experience. We see things from another perspective. Hopefully, age brings wisdom as well. Both of these qualities impact all areas of life, including the workplace. In my case age has also given me another gift – grandchildren, and they’re the best things in my life.
I am a grandfather of seven with one more on the way. (Number six is just three weeks old.) My grandkids empower me. Their pictures hang in my office and are a constant reminder that life is so much more than me in the here and now.
When times get tough, I can look at their smiling faces and they remind me that life is multi-dimensional: work is just one part of the whole landscape.
Kids are wonderful: they accept you for who you are, with no questions asked. Their uncomplicated approach to life inspires me to apply these same attitudes of acceptance and simplicity to everything I do.
I also want the best for my grandkids. I want to see them succeed in whatever they decide to do and realize that I have a part to play in helping them in this journey. They inspire me to mentor the younger team members with whom I work, to help give back what I have learned. I see reflections of my grandchildren in these young staffers as I work with them to fulfill their dreams, just as I plan to help my grandchildren fulfill their aspirations.
I am a proud grandparent. I gladly share pictures and stories of my grandchildren with my co-workers. We live in a time where people feel uncomfortable bringing their “whole selves” to work, which is truly sad. I understand the concern of revealing one’s age in the workplace, but I want to concentrate on what I know and the how to stay ahead of the pack while I “pay it forward.” Although at times I have felt judged because of my age, the wisdom that comes from my hard-earned work experience is a gift I enjoy sharing with younger generations.
I encourage you to bring to work whatever makes you different and stand out from the crowd. Grandparents play a very important role in today’s society—so much, in fact that there is an entire day dedicated to honoring grandparents this Sunday, September 8. I hope my story inspires you to celebrate age and the wonderful wisdom that it brings.