Have You Retired From Trying to be Young?

Tim Sackett Career Advice, Career Paths, Change, Culture, Diversity, Employment Law, Uncategorized 1 Comment

I clearly remember a time in my career when I tried to act like I had way more experience than I really had. “Oh yeah, I’ve been doing HR for ten years!” Assuming you count four years of experience I had working part-time service jobs in college as “HR” experience.

Then one day you wake up and someone is reading your bio and they say, “and Tim has over 25 years of HR and Recruiting experience…” and that’s when it hits you. “Oh shit! I need to get younger!”

We then spend the next few years trying to act like we are actually less experienced than we really are. “Hey, on my bio, can you just say I’ve got 15 years of combined HR and Recruiting experience?” They look at you like, “why would you ever want ‘less’ experience?”

Well, turns out, the world is mostly a young person’s game. We see it all the time, companies are constantly getting in trouble on their job postings trying to ask for young people to apply without really saying it (or sometimes just flat out saying it!).

I wanted to write this post about my retirement.

A post about my retirement from trying to be young, but quite honestly, I’m just not there yet. I started using a moisturizer on my face because apparently it helps you look younger. I started wearing Lululemon slim fit ABC pants (and I blame Lars Schmidt – but damn are they comfortable and stylish!). I made my wife go on a 24-mile mountain bike ride that almost killed us! Heck, I’m starting a podcast!

So, I’m not quite ready to retire from trying to be young. Maybe next year, or 2021 for sure. At least by 2025!

You know you can tell when that GenXer in your workforce has decided to retire from being young. There are some telltale signs. They start saying things like:

  • “Young gun” or “Young buck”
  • “Kiddo”
  • “Slow down” or “It’ll be here tomorrow”

They start to wear slip on Sketchers around the office because “they’re just comfortable”. They might grow a beard or start talking openly about their appetite for edibles. Basically, they stop giving a f@ck, but not to the point of wanting to lose their job, just to the point of “look, I really don’t care if you promote me or not, just promote the ‘young buck’ over there!”

I remember when my Dad was working and he decided to retire from being young. He would tell me stories about how he would speak what was on his mind in a room full of executives. “What are they going to do, fire me for speaking the truth!?” Um, probably!

I envy those men and women who have retired from trying to be young. It’s exhausting! Trying to be younger is way more exhausting than trying to be older. You have to care about what others think way too often. So, I’m not retired from being young yet, but I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to think about it.

What about you? Have you retired from trying to be young? When did you know it was time? Hit me in the comments with some suggestions!

Comments 1

  1. Tim, I’m there now, Sport! Professionally old but, personally young. The transition was when I stopped sharing my personal young to influence the perception of my professional self. How can anyone who runs that far and plays that hard be considered “old”? At 47 with 18 years of progressive professional experience I no longer feel the need to share my powerlifting and 26 mile weekend ruck march activities at work. Thanks for the post. Great food for thought. -Rob

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