In the year 2020, age is truly just a number. Our ever-changing world has transformed this somewhat questionable cliche into an unquestioned reality. As we look back at life 20 years ago there are very little comparisons to reference. Yet, we as a society continue to look at our past as a guide for our future endeavors. I am not saying that the past can’t teach us valuable life lessons. I am simply saying that life in 2020 contains important aspects that simply weren’t available to us as we were growing up. Therefore, what does this all mean? It means that the playing field has been leveled among all walks of life. Age and experience are no longer held with such high regard. This is likely a tough pill to swallow for most. However, the reality is, what we once learned and considered valuable is quickly becoming outdated and in many cases, rather useless. As hard as it may be for some to admit, these are the facts. It is up to each individual to decide whether they want to adjust and succeed in the future or remain stubborn and ignorant to change therefore, being left behind.
1) Rapid Technological Advancements:
Technology is changing the world for better or worse. From business interactions to everyday life, there is no doubt that it has taken over. We as a society religiously use smartphones, various social media platforms, video technology, and the internet to essentially “run” our daily lives. As soon as we think that technology has hit its peak, we are suddenly proved wrong. That means that those who refuse to embrace this new technology will soon be left behind. Call it what you want, this technology is here to stay. We can sit there and call out its flaws and how it is destroying the morality of society. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t matter what we think. Whether we like it or not, technology will only continue to develop and play a larger role in both our work and social lives. This means that past experiences that predate today’s technology boom simply don’t mean that much anymore. We are in a new era with new rules and we have to treat it as such.
2) Experience Carries Less Weight
What was once (and even still) considered the golden rule for acquiring a quality job, past experience is becoming more and more irrelevant. Young people fresh out of college are often turned down by various companies due to their so-called, “lack of experience.” While this may still be a logical excuse for some fields, the companies who continue with this methodology will be the ones who suffer as time goes on. As young people grow-up in this technological boom, they are the ones who are actually more capable than most current, tenured employees. This is where the egos come into play and understandably so. Basically, these companies have had a lot of success doing things the same way for a long time. Therefore, many are hesitant to change, adapt and admit that the old way is no longer the most effective one. The bottom line is, youth is no longer a disadvantage but a great advantage. It is only a matter to time until this is fully realized in the corporate world.
3) Effective Leadership is Being Redefined
Without credibility effective leadership is practically impossible. In most fields, age and tenure are considered pre-requisites for acquiring a leadership position. However, as time goes on and our world continues to change, this past experience is becoming less and less relevant to modern-day life. As people’s personalities and motives continue to change, effective leaders must adapt in accordance with these changes. Effective leaders in 2020 and beyond must contain a diverse array of social skills along with a solid personal foundation and most importantly, the willingness to adapt to the modern-day norms. Those who refuse or fail to adapt will have a very hard time earning respect and maintaining credibility as our world continues to diversify. Now more than ever, the playing field is even regardless of age or experience. Age is truly just a number…Now more than ever.