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March 19, 2013

My View: Learning never becomes obsolete

A couple weeks ago, I overheard the following conversation at a start-up business event between Jeff, an entrepreneur starting up a special personal history publishing business and Tom, who was focused on the field of visual advertising displays.

“Jeff, you really should update your publishing software to Adobe release 11. It will get the job done much faster than 9,” said Tom.

“Well, Tom, you’re right. My software is good, but not as good as the new release. But, I don’t know the new software,” said Jeff.

“I understand,” said Tom, “but you know, the company has some really great videos on the web-they’re straightforward and helpful. The new software will really help you to produce the quality of books you want to make more quickly.”

“Yes, Tom, I think you’re right. It’s time for me to learn that new software,” Jeff replied as the conversation trailed off.

Ordinarily, the conversation between Jeff and Tom would have just flown by, but this time it stuck with me, as it represented another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that was coming together in my head.

This year, more than 3.5 million baby boomers will hit retirement age. And next year another 3 million plus will hit that golden mark. Regardless of whether or not you’re actually a Boomer yourself, you’re probably not only familiar with this trend, but also with fact that many people either don’t want to stop working or can’t afford to stop working due to situations beyond their control.

To address the situation, I see many boomers with senior management experience consider consulting, leveraging their accumulated knowledge and experience by offering it to a variety of organizations on a freelance basis. This is a viable strategy if the field of expertise is relatively slow-moving and non-technical.

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