Baby boomers take the lead

Do you sometimes just want to rant about the way our boomer generation is treated? Jan Marino of the Chicago suburb of Lisle, Illinois, has a rant about America’s retail industry, but she also has advice about overcoming the way they see us: Baby Boomers, she says, Take the Lead.

Once upon a time, there was a large number of babies were born between 1946 and 1964 in the US. Born in 1949, I was one of them. As you know, we are known as the baby boomers.


There are 76 million of us. We were kids when President Kennedy was killed and that is “the” moment in history for most of us. We stopped a war we didn’t want to fight. We brought about change because “the times they were a changing.”

We made love not war and we cried “the whole world is watching.” We didn’t trust anyone over 40 and we wanted “strawberry fields forever.” We burned draft cards and bras. We grew our hair and picketed for civil rights and peace on earth. We got stoned, lived in buses, flipped off authority…. and then…. we graduated from college, got jobs, built corporate America, had kids, bought eight of everything we could get our hands on and then…. fast-forward forty years and we woke up one day to find that we are in our 60s. We are now grandparents and expected to retire and live the good life like our parents.

Jan Marino

Jan Marino

A reality check reveals that this fairytale ending that the rest of society has planned for us isn’t always going so well. Boomers have decided that we really don’t want or can’t retire when we’re 65. We’ve also decided that the aging process that applied to our parents doesn’t apply to us. We will not be called seniors, mature, old, or advanced in age. As Monty Pylon said, “We’re not dead yet!” One of the many assets we boomers have in our favor is the ability to be cool, calm, and able to take the lead.

What are we leading and where are we going? We are leading a marketplace reinvention that changes the job market for everyone. We will offer our expertise and knowledge for short-term projects. It’s supply and demand at its best! More than ever, companies are focused on their bottom line…. head count impacts the bottom line more than any other cost. And our head count is huge.

Boomers want to contribute to the total economic good for everyone. We know what happens when society splits apart and there are “haves” and “have nots.” Boomers value education and opportunity for all. We’re tolerant, forward-thinking, and inclusive of all. We want to be mentors and help the generations following us to take the lead as well. We are willing to share … there’s plenty of sand in the sandbox!

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