But, well… what's going on in Spain with the seniors?

It will be because I belong to the category of séniors And I never talk about it, today I want to address a complex issue that mixes big problems with great opportunities.

If you're short on time, I invite you to watch this video summary in a minute.

At what age are professionals considered seniors?

I remember playing with friends to my 12 Years. Suddenly, a woman appeared, grandmother or aunt of one of the children, and said that same day he was fulfilling 50 Years. In my teenage eyes, that woman from 50 she was an old lady. Dressed like an old lady, her hair, already gray and dyed that violet color, Picked up, I put it 20 years more. His hands were rough, with lots of wrinkles, a lot of life...

Today, and surpassed my 55, when I see someone looking the same as that woman, it turns out he's got a little more than 80 Years. We've changed. Our food, the advancement of preventive medicine, healthy sports habits, the pursuit of permanent happiness, meditation, travel... Everything helps body and mind age more and more slowly. In terms of productivity, our "lifespan" lengthens.

I I consider myself senior, but not because of my age, from my experience. I've been in the world of work since 16. My first payroll was at the BBDO Time agency. And the best thing is not the experience gained in years, but in experiences, in failures, Successes, Joys, Penalties, Achievements. Those are the best wrinkles. And believe me if I tell you I've never been as good as I am now.. I've got a long way to go. (The Purpose Forces), but professionally I don't think I've ever come to a place like today.

For me, the "seniority" is an attitude, supported by an experience, it's not about added years. And I admit without problems that I learn, And a lot, of people much younger than me.

Many cultures revere seniors. Spain, Unfortunately, it's an exception

In Japan, the elderly enjoy respect and admiration. Japan's famous longevity is not just the result of physical aspects such as its care for hygiene, their varied and healthy nutrition and constant medical checkups. It also comes from cultural factors, social and ancestral issues that make them respect older people as great sources of wisdom, experience and knowledge.

Even United States and pretty much all America, Africa and Asia worship the mature age, even though their life expectancy is somewhat lower than Japanese or European.

However, as if it were the Gala village of Asterix, Spain represents a regrettable exception in respect for matureness, using a term from my admired Laura Rosillo.

E later this week I was able to know that a of the main Spanish companies has planned to pre-play in a few days 5.000 older employees of 53 Years.

The message is terrible, it is interpreted that 53 we're already laborly useless

It seems that it is of no use the knowledge acquired, experience, the multiple formations accumulated, achievements. But not what's more important to me either., the desire to keep learning, to acquire more skills, mentoring those who start, to continue to undertake.

The stupid contradiction

the young man knows the rules and the old one knows the exceptions
Thanks to Salvador Martinez, cultural change consultant

When organizations that are supposed to be exemplary and wealth- creators encourage ageism (age discrimination), society must react. Among other things, because it is expected that in 2030, one in each 3 people will have more than 55 years and one in five will have more than 64 Years.

The contradiction or paradox is as follows: On the one hand, our life expectancy is growing due to advances in health, nutrition and other healthy habits. On the other hand, companies are getting rid of professionals at younger ages… How can society digest such a paradox?

Several reasons to boost the talent of seniors

Many seniors already know what can work and what doesn't, are Digitized up to our teeth and we don't have the pain of giving away knowledge, Ideas, and participate in multiple altruistic initiatives. Many companies replace these "old ones" of more than 53 years by Juniors of the 23 thinking it's going to be the same. And it's not the same.. It's different.. We need freshness, energy and youth initiative, but someone has to supervise it, direct it, mentoring her. And who better than the one who has been wrong many times and has discovered so many other way out of the maze.

But there are more reasons that underpin the necessary momentum towards this growing group. In the obligatory reading article Age management: Generational diversity as a business strategy, of the expert Laura Rosillo, there are very important reasons for entrepreneurs to change their mindset with respect to seniors:

  • Laura refers to the often ignoring the social "conquest" of progressive increase in life expectancy and years of healthy and productive life. This is a more qualitative improvement, it's not just living longer, is to live them with greater physical and mental health.
  • When it comes to younger people, I like his idea of complementary generations, non-adverse, non-substitutes. Together they can provide much more effective solutions to the organization.
  • Mentions the impossibility of carrying out generational relays as before. The fall in birth, job precariousness, revolution 4.0., make it difficult. That's why, you have to change the prism and understand that IYou +50 from now on they are better prepared and in greater health than the ones before.
  • I can't agree more when breaks generational stereotypes. "There are people born already in the age of the internet who are digital illiterate or there are Babyboomers absolutely digitized".
  • When we mature we become individualized and become unique stories and experiences. Laura claims that diversity is therefore not generational, but interpersonal.
  • Companies both emerging talent and mature talent to ensure innovation Permanent. It is difficult to achieve without this communion.
  • It is have lengthened life cycles, and with it the training periods. I speak for myself., I'm pursuing a humanities degree, attending conferences, enrolling in courses, MOOCs... why stop? Knowledge is dynamic.
  • The fact that pre-digital generations are not skilled in this digital subject it's more about an issue of attitude than ability. So, has solution.
  • At last, picking up the ideal of the organizational clover of Charles Handy, seniors can be located in any of the three parts of the clover: fixed template, outsourced and freelance staff by project. From payroll to invoicing.

Notes, Spanish company. We're a lot of seniors and we're going to keep going to give war, of the good, without refusing to change, without giving up constantly forming, without giving up being a part of the clover. Go ahead with golden workers!

Stock Photos from Smileus / Shutterstock

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7 thoughts on "But, well… what's going on in Spain with the seniors?”

    • Thank you very much Javier! We will see how politicians face the great challenge of matureness in the years to come. For now, there are no proposals on the table, so once again, the initiative is in our hands. Let's do it.!

      Reply
  1. Guillem,

    I share your vision just like the rest of the Cooldys Talent team. We have to change the ageism that is in the company and in the rest of society to value Senior Talent. Understand that Spain is together with Japan one of the countries with the longest life expectancy, being specifically 83 years and growing 2,5 months each year, it makes it necessary to move on to plan our longevity in an active way and not to waste the talent with experience that together with young talent can make very good equipment ;-)

    Best regards

    Reply
    • Hello, Colia, Cooldys Talent initiative is brilliant, because Laura, Jaume, Olga, yourself and the rest of the team are creating not only the pedagogy needed to value the seniors, but also by creating the training tools to make this possible. Congratulations!

      Reply
  2. Hello good morning,
    I thought it was an article that touches an important sore: seniors and their wasted capabilities. In Viladecans we plan to hold an event, we've called the Silver Weekend Challenge, with which we aim to promote social business projects that respond, in the most innovative way possible, challenge of active aging, in our city and indeed, in all Spanish cities. We have invited seniors who respond to this profile of active seniors who bring us experiences about who they are and what they need, and above all, use your expertise to validate the projects that are presented. I'll point the link at you in case you want to take a look at it: https://www.viladecans.cat/es/weekendchallenge Thank you for your reflections.

    Reply
  3. Hi, Guillem,
    great article. We should learn from countries like the UK, where I have lived and have been able to see senior employees everywhere. Companies are a mixture of young and mature staff. Discrimination against sexual orientation, gender, race, religion …aren´t allowed but age discrimination is an everyday issue, unfortunately.

    Reply

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