EDITOR’S NOTE: Ronnie Caplan was inspired to write the following cover letter/article in response to the Critical Path column by Bailey Roth and Carly Silberstein, published in the January.February issue of M+IT.
To Hiring Manager(s),
As an Event Designer / Producer, Creative Director, Writer & Photographer (since 1989), for clients from Puerto Rico to Montreal, Toronto to Las Vegas, Manhattan to Los Angeles—I am primed to join your team.
I do have a confession to make, though.
I am a Baby Boomer.
There, I said it.
As I understand it, this is how we break it down:
Baby boomers are micromanagers, work hard, do not understand technology, are stubborn and want to destroy the planet.
Millennials are lazy, entitled, tech savvy, want to save the world and don’t know how to communicate in person.
KIDDING, of course.
Apart from the generalizations of Baby Boomers and Millennials varying, we do share one similar characteristic—we both share particular entrepreneurial characteristics. Millennials crave freedom and earning potential. Baby Boomers have a desire to build something.
Both of our generations are finding jobs are hard to come by, and are putting our hopes in entrepreneurship as an alternative.
Why then don’t Baby Boomers and Millennials work together instead of focusing on their differences? After all, Baby Boomers have shaped Millennials by raising them as parents or grandparents, hiring them as employees and educating them as professors/teachers.
Millennials, in turn, have affected Baby Boomers as well by introducing them to new trends in technology that allow for global communication (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and green lifestyles that focus on less waste and greater reuse of the world’s products and services.
Both generations must stop griping about one another.
Rather than putting one another down, we should be building something up—with each other.
Our stereotypes actually complement each other spot on.
If human capital, arguably the most important asset of a business is leveraged, it could optimize the strategic vision of any company.
That’s exactly what I help to do.
I know that I am capable of performing beyond expectations—my standard— and I have the resume, contacts and references to prove it.
In fact, my previous creative concepts and ideas are still applicable today.
If I could dream up, and produce, incredible campaigns and environments back then, just imagine what I’ll do today. With the significant advancement of available technologies, bringing these ideas to life results in even more desirable triumphs than just a few years ago!
The idea that creativity and old age are mutually exclusive is perhaps as familiar as the joke about Mozart: ‘‘When he was your age, he was dead.”
Here’s a scenario:
Let a “mature” employee go, then try to fill that position.
Now, let the realization sink in: It will take two or three new hires to meet the requirements of that position, as it now exists.
You see, the myths and stereotypes about older workers still permeate our society: that those over 50 are resistant to change, technophobic, less energetic, less creative and less innovative, don’t want to learn new skills and new processes, and are basically just putting in time until retirement.
Why would you bother to develop the career of someone who is 55?
It’s a poor return on investment.
Of course, none of this is correct.
And regarding the last point, the reverse is actually true.
Younger workers have higher turnover rates than older workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers 45–56 stayed on the job twice as long as those 25–34, so concentrating training on those under 40 should be deemed the higher risk.
The truth is that older workers don’t differ much from their younger counterparts, especially when it comes to ingenuity and imagination.
Creativity is the ability to think of new and novel ideas, and as long as we have the drive to pursue those ideas, there is very little that can prevent us from doing so (especially age).
Companies should be doing all they can to retain the decades of industry and organizational experience and wisdom my demographic holds.
Perhaps the best possible situation is having the insights and experiences from a boomer, along with the innovative ideas and positive force of a millennial—a great combination to push any company to success!
Now, on to my next interview, where I will emphasize my years and years of experience, only to realize that the person I am talking to has way less experience than I do.
– Ronnie Caplan has assembled a multi-dimensional array of successes in creative ventures across North America, managing an entrepreneurial event enterprise as well as working collaboratively with PR, marketing, meeting and event planning firms and suppliers to the events industry. He grew up in Montreal, moved to Toronto when he was 21, and has lived in Beverly Hills, Chelsea, NYC and southern France. He is currently freelancing from his office in a Montreal Starbucks, while searching for his final, most satisfying endeavour. Contact Ronnie at 514.709.8289; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.linkedin.com/in/ronniecaplancommunications and www.ronniecaplanphotography.com.