Who determines your WORK LIFE in old age? You or the others?

Claudia Brose
4 min readAug 19, 2021
Erika Giraud on Unsplash

Recently I spoke to an owner of a medium-sized company about working when getting in “retirement”-age and quitting … or not.

He has an employee who started working in his profession at the age of 15 and should officially retire in his late 50s, after working for more than 40 years. That was 15 years ago and the employee is still with the company today. Because he feels like doing it because he is good and reliable because he has accumulated an enormous knowledge over decades in the company. And the owner is happy to keep him busy, take advantage of his wisdom, and continues to pay him the same salary.

Why not?

Do we stop working at a certain age because the rules, the laws (which have not yet been adapted to the 21st century) dictate that you “retire” and “have to quit” when you are in your early or mid-60s?

Today we are all getting older, we have a better health system and through university years and spending a year abroad, which used to be less common in the past, we also start our professional and working life a little later. Can the laws and mindsets keep up with that progress?

Why not pay more attention to the knowledge, experience, willingness, and commitment of the “mature generation” and integrate them into our organizational structures? And then combine this with the younger generation’s pioneer spirit, their desire to try things out and learning from mistakes.

Combining experience and curiosity — to create something new

The ideal recipe would be that we learn to combine wisdom and experience with curiosity for new things, a beginner attitude, and a willingness to develop and grow.

“Experience is making a comeback again. Because at a time when corporate management is in the hands of younger generations, organizations are finally becoming aware of values such as humility, emotional intelligence, and wisdom that go hand in hand with age. And when digital skills may only have an expiration date from the latest fads or gadgets, human skills that employees have mid-career — such as good judgment, expertise, or the ability to collaborate and coach — never expire.” That’s how Chip Conley describes…

Claudia Brose

Writer, Event-Creator, Marketing Professional turned Rebel against a rushed world | Japan mad | Cyclist | Get my Newsletter Un-Rush claudiabrose.substack.com