Valuing the voice of experience

June 9, 2017


While a recent survey found that age discrimination was alive and well in the workplace, thankfully there’s been a shift towards employers looking at the value that older people can bring to a firm or organisation. 

Recently, this has been in the news and one employer partaking in this is Careseekers, an online platform that connects people looking for in-home support with aged care and disability care workers. Governments are starting to provide incentives for this process to happen.

So what does this mean to those of us edging towards, smack-bang in or moving out of middle age? 

Have you asked yourself: “Would I like a change of job?” “Do I have the energy and strength to do a job I was doing when I was younger?” 

Or would you rather retire now? Are you even in a position to retire?  

In my experience, the incentives among older workers are not position or status, but rather job satisfaction. Like anyone, most healthy, older Australians would rather be working and having their minds active and being appreciated and valued for their input. 

Another great incentive is the ‘community’ of work—the satisfaction of being a part of a team. Many older workers have wisdom and understanding that goes a long way in 
most employment situations. What they have to offer through their experience can be unique and vital in this fast-paced, short-attention span day and age. 

Even in retirement there are so many areas where older people can make a huge impact in the community. They can make such a worthwhile ongoing contribution in society, as well as having time to relax and enjoy the things they have always wanted to do.

And there’s a faith perspective that can show us our path for the future.

As a Christian, I can go to the Word of God to seek the pathway forward. As I study the word and pray, light is shed along my way. 

The Bible has these words of wisdom: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11). 

And sometimes we older workers just need to trust that we will be shown that path.

In all aspects of life, including paid work or volunteering, seeking God through prayer and his Word will make all the difference.

The challenge of new employment can be very satisfying and rewarding for an older person. Being older can be a huge bene­fit; you just need to see the possibilities with different eyes.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight” (Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5–6).


Tags: Salvation Army Australia

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