Baby Boomers – Does your career have meaning?

Does-Your-Career-Have-MeaningDoes Your Career have Meaning

Boomers you heard me right, does your career have meaning?

For many of us, when we left home we did one of two things:

  1. Did what our parents told us to do
  2. Took whatever was available

Finding a career with meaning was not part of the equation.

What prompted me to think about this was an article in The Atlantic called There’s More to Life than Being Happy

The article by By Emily Esfahani Smith opens:

“In September 1942, Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and neurologist in Vienna, was arrested and transported to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and parents. Three years later, when his camp was liberated, most of his family, including his pregnant wife, had perished — but he, prisoner number 119104, had lived. In his bestselling 1946 book, Man’s Search for Meaning, which he wrote in nine days about his experiences in the camps, Frankl concluded that the difference between those who had lived and those who had died came down to one thing: Meaning, an insight he came to early in life.”

A lot of baby boomers are now wondering the same thing. As whole career paths have collapsed and disappeared many baby boomers are wondering what is next but more importantly will the next step be something where you get to make a difference.

The author went on to state:

“As he saw in the camps, those who found meaning even in the most horrendous circumstances were far more resilient to suffering than those who did not. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing,” Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.””

Many baby boomers are in a similar place where they were when they were starting their career.  When many boomers were young and starting out, they had no money, had no stuff and knew they had to work for 30-40 years. Now they have no money, may have a lot of stuff, and will have to work for another 20-30 years.

I followed the same path laid out for me until ten years ago when I had a near fatal bicycle accident which changed my life. I have been searching for meaning in my work ever since.

Will your next career have meaning?

Do you even know what that means?

I will continue this discussion in my next post.


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My book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers” is now available. Check it out!

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist