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5 Ways To Feel Young At Heart In Business Again

Hands forming a heart

Do you find yourself telling the kids in your company to stay off your lawn?

Do co-workers or customers avoid you because you have become the old office grump?

Come on. What happened? You used to bring energy and enthusiasm to the table. You once loved coming to work and making things happen.

Ebbs in our life’s work are natural, especially as we grow older. The emotional and physical demands of jobs wear down everyone over time. Projects can become routine, and boredom can easily set in.

Eventually, you wonder if your career is over and whether it is time to consider retirement (as if anyone really can afford to do that these days).

The good news is that you can fix it. Men and Women of a Certain Age can re-engage their careers and re-discover their passion that once made them an “up and comer.”

Here are 5 ways to feel and stay young at heart in business:

Surround yourself with young professionals.

Join a company full of them. If you own a company, hire them. Partner with vendors who have them. An upstart company run by or featuring blooming talent is an exciting place to be.

If you can't hire or work with young professionals in some capacity, go to networking events or join a professional group that could offer the same benefit as directly working with them.

You will find their energy invigorating. It’s a cliché, but just being around young people makes you feel young again.

Connect with young professionals.

Have lunch with them. Listen to their ideas. Ask their opinions. Let them get to know you. Don’t view them as your students or subordinates. Don’t insult them by looking down or beyond them. See and treat them as equals.

You will find two remarkable benefits of connecting with young professionals: First, they have great ideas that can help your company do great things. Second, they need your experience to make their ideas happen. By nurturing your professional relationships, you will feel vocationally fulfilled.

Understand young professionals.

In general, young professionals have different motives about work compared to the previous generations. While they want money (and who doesn’t), they also want to accomplish goals for the greater good. They want the satisfaction of helping people and making the world a better place. It’s so refreshing to see them in action.

Today’s young professionals were taught differently from those of us raised in the post-World War II schools. Back then, teachers spewed facts and we regurgitated answers. Our next generation of professionals learned collaboration, teamwork and conflict resolution from their preschool days. Adapting to their style is intellectually challenging, but makes you more relevant.

Dress the part.

Ditch the suits (although you can keep one for weddings and funerals). In today’s progressive environment, companies want results rather than formal attire.

Wearing stylish jeans and open-collar shirts is acceptable, even in many higher-end corporate circles. Comfortable business casual breaks down barriers between bosses and staff and helps promote a collaborative work culture. You also will feel young again wearing the same age-neutral attire as your younger colleagues (even if you have a larger waist size).

Eat your veggies and download some Kanye on your iTunes.

Well, maybe that’s asking a little much. But, the point is simple – The better you take care of yourself, the younger you feel.

Eating healthy foods and consuming less fat and carbs just might eliminate the need for Lipitor and Zestril. Sprinkling a little hip-hop, crunk or progressive country to your Dylan, Mellencamp and Springsteen might motivate you to get back in shape.

If you really want to start the heart-pumping, download some Flo Rida and take a long walk.

You will notice a spring in your step, and maybe feel a second jumpstart to your career.

Jeff Owen likes to stay young by hanging out at SpinWeb.

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