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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

Baby Boomers Work Past Retirement

Published July 28, 2008 2:55 PM by Glen McDaniel

In a recent post on the Harvard Business blog, Tammy Erickson commented on the fact most baby boomers will choose to work past the traditional retirement age. My first reaction was the reason is probably because many of us do not feel financially prepared to have a decent living on retirement income and Social Security.

Apparently that's only part of the reason though, according to Erickson. Many boomers have more debt than future generations and will live longer, so the reality is that they need to continue to work. Equally significant is the fact that many boomers want to continue working for the mental stimulation, to feel useful, to keep active, to maintain professional relationships and to do something they regard as meaningful.

With a predicted shortage of many healthcare professions including clinical lab science, this might be welcome news. Boomers might help to lessen the brunt of that predicted shortfall.

Not surprisingly, boomers will have their own set of rules and demands. They will not be interested in business as usual. They want more control, flexible schedule and possible shorter workday or workweeks.


Indeed, having baby-boomers in the field, will limit the potential to grow in lab careers.  New generations have the advantage of solution flexibility, adaptability, speed, productivity, all components that can be lost as one ages.  It would be best to evaluate roles fulfilled by baby-boomers (i.e part-time, flexible, consultant roles) to allow the younger generations to provide significant contributions in the field.

C C August 11, 2008 9:00 PM

The boomers staying in the workplace longer can be viewed as a double-edged sword.  

Yes, they are staying on and preventing major shoft-staffing issues. ..  BUT - look at the positions and shifts that many are on in your facilities.. Those aren't the shifts that are hurting for manpower.

However - by them staying on longer - it is preventing the younger generations from being able to move up and advance their careers in to more senior positions (senior, supervisiory or management) within the laboratory.  Thus, frustrating many younger techs in to leaving for fields that offer more of an immediate career ladder.

Ryan , MT July 29, 2008 8:14 AM
Buffalo NY

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