Baby boomers as volunteers
Volunteering is something that baby boomers seem to be inclined to do. Almost one third of all the baby boomers, nearly 25.8 million people have become volunteers for some organization or the other. An interesting fact to observe here would be that baby boomer volunteers form the highest group of volunteers at 33.2% and that is more than the national average of 28.8%. The rate at which baby boomers are volunteering is increasing steadily and gradually. It was 25% in the year 2002 and reached 30% in the year 2004. Now the reason why so many baby boomers are volunteering is because they feel obliged or out of a sense of duty. It is because they want the kind of social interaction they would not otherwise get after retirement. Volunteering gives them a sense of social and self-development and motivation, it also helps to elevate their self-esteem.
Baby boomers and National service
Baby boomers should not be viewed as a cost to the economy; in fact they are an asset to the economy and the community and an underutilized asset at that. In fact, the conference on ‘Aging of 2005’ was completely based on promoting the volunteering of this cohort for national and community service. It was also centered on changing the infra structure, so as to enhance the volunteering and the conference even put forth some policies to benefit the volunteering by boomers.
These policies and initiatives were:
1. To change the way the non-profit sectors think about how to use the volunteers and to make a cultural shift that would encourage the baby boomers.
2. To offer flexibility to the older volunteers and to encourage a feeling of better corporate citizenship.
3. Handing a more prominent and appropriate role to the government, which includes involving boomers in civic activities.
4. Promoting the need for volunteers and services and civic engagements by retired adults.
5. To encourage educating the public and the promotion of health benefits.
Before getting these already capable baby boomers to volunteer in the field of national service and community it is important to change the image of age. This group of mature adults is going to be attracted to programs that do not use words like old, seniors or retired. It is also necessary to reflect volunteer work as not something only retired people can do; it needs to be portrayed in a way that appears challenging to the baby boomers.
© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF
Anna D. Banks, a passionate advocate for baby boomers in exploring their priorities, planning and setting goals for the next stage of their lives. Assisting her clients to attract and build a professional and personal life consistent with their values is not just a goal of Anna's, it's her passion. Anna is currently Adjunct Faculty at Essex County College, where she teaches Career Development & Management.
Author's Note: Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Please place a post on http://babyboomer-retirement-tips.blogspot.com or email your questions to me at Anna@AnnaBanks.com