Over 50 and Winning the Gig Economy
Today, 60% of workers aged 45+ have experienced prejudice and unfairness in the workplace based on their age, sometimes even going far enough to reach termination and replacement. Yet, by the time we reach 2024, around 25% of the US workforce will be aged 55 and over — here’s how older professionals are succeeding.
Of all the self-employed individuals in the US, 49% are Baby Boomers. But the freedom and independence of self-employment and entrepreneurship didn’t happen overnight; it’s the sum of experience. “Many baby boomers are not interested in retirement. They’re always interested in building something,” says Sylvia DeWitt, administrator of the Iowa Entrepreneurs Coalition. For older corporate professionals faced with the risks of being replaced with younger (and often cheaper) workers, simply waiting around is not an option. The growing popularity of “grey-prenuers,” or older folks pursuing their own businesses, have distinct advantages, from communication skills, sales and industry know how, even reliable credit for obtaining loans.
Staying ahead of the curve doesn’t necessarily mean learning a whole new skillset — quite the contrary, in fact. For older workers with industry seniority, these years of experience go a long way and though short-sighted employers would rather ignore the benefits of this experience, it’s possible to make it work on your own terms instead.