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Older workers must seize opportunities

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Benefits of experience: Author Robert Dilenschneider with his new book

Age can be an advantage in the workplace, according to visiting best-selling author Robert Dilenschneider.

Speaking to The Royal Gazette yesterday, Mr Dilenschneider said that older members of the workforce have much to offer and need to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

“It can help the economy, it can help business, it can help politics,” he said.

“It can also help young people, because 50-plus people have experience no one else has. If they learn technology and can twin that with their understanding of business, life and society, they are going to be way ahead in the game.

“Many young people have not yet figured out how to form arguments and be persuasive. That’s something that comes with age. Fifty-plus people know it. If you can twin that with technology, they are going to be very successful.”

Noting his book 50 Plus! Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of your Life, which was recently republished with “significant updates”, Mr Dilenschneider said: “I really wrote it because there’s a significant percentage of people in the world who are over 50, and these people feel in many ways that it’s over for them when it’s not. There are lots of opportunities, and the book describes ways they can take advantage of the opportunity.”

He said that all but two of the employees of his public relations firm, The Dilenschneider Group, and the majority of his clients are over the age of 50.

“The new 60 is 75, and more people want to stay in the workplace,” he said. “In my own case, I will never retire. I might do something different, but I will never retire. I’m not going to stop. I say in the book that you should really come up with 25, 50 things you want to do in your life and make sure you do them so at the end of your life when the grim reaper cashes in you’ve done things you really wanted to do, and if you do things, create something better because you came this way, then everything is really worth it.

“I think the worst thing that can happen — and I’ve seen this happen to many men and women — is to be over 60 and to say my day is over. You go downhill physically, you go downhill mentally, and it’s not good. The best thing that can happen is that you find that spark and decide that you’re going to make things happen with your experience and your knowledge.

“I’m going to take new technology and put that with my knowledge, and we’re going to do something even better than they were before.”

He said that he has been visiting the Island for around 50 years, praising the civility of Bermudians.

“I’ve stayed all over Bermuda, and I would rather come to Bermuda than any other place in the world to really enjoy myself,” Mr Dilenschneider said. “It’s a very special place.

“One of the things I have suggested to a previous Premier is that Bermuda is known for it’s civility, treating people well. Places in the Caribbean are not known for that.

“I’ve suggested that we create a programme that talks about civility in Bermuda and gets young people to understand it’s one of the hallmarks of the Island and that it makes a difference.”

“If everyone in the world conducted themselves like people in Bermuda conduct themselves, the world would be a much better place.”

Author, Robert L. Dilenschneider, in Bermuda with his new book, 50 Plus! Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of Your Life. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)