Missing Link – Eldercare and Boomer Career SustainabilityBy Kit Jeffrey
Career sustainability is all about optimization, managing risks and balancing your obligations. On the optimization side, you are probably already doing a lot, embracing social media through networks, flexing with rapid economic and organizational changes and the like. On the risk side, you are paying more attention to managing your financial resources, savings and retirement. That’s all to the good! But you’re missing something if you’re not considering your obligations to your aging parents and the impact this can have on your career?
While there’s plenty of advice out their on enhancing your resume and managing your professional brand, there is much less good information on how to manage a critical element of career vulnerability for boomers: the matter of providing for the care of aging parents. The scope of the challenge is immense. It is estimated that more than 80% of those in the workforce age 50+currently are or in the near future will need to arrange for the caring for a parent or parents.
Some boomers address the issue by handling caregiver tasks themselves, even quitting their jobs to do so. Others continue to work and carry out caregiving activities with the assistance of relatives or must outsource eldercare to contract caregivers or assisted living facilities. That’s particularly true when a parent or parent lives in another city or state and can’t or won’t relocate.
Finding the missing link provides the element you need to address the challenge and you sustain your career by achieving a manageable balance between your career and caring for your parent(s). This can be in the form of community resources or counseling and support services provided by enlightened employers like Intel. Newly emerging are web and social media sites that provide free or low cost resources to empower you in helping your aging parents. A particularly good article, Sending Out An Elder-Care SOS, can be found in the Wall Street Journal. It’s full of useful suggestions and links for accessing online resources.