March 4, 2024 | Allison Robertson

Professional Traits of Baby Boomers in the Workplace


Baby Boomers in the Workplace

The Baby Boomer generation—which includes those born between 1946 and 1964—has experienced huge changes in the economy, society, and technology over the years, which have fostered a unique set of traits and values that have proven to be a benefit to them, both personally and professionally.

Here are 24 Baby Boomer traits that future generations should follow.

happy man with money and factory worker split image

Quick Boomer Stats

According to estimates from the Retirement Income Institute, more than 11,200 Americans will turn 65 every day — or over 4.1 million every year — from 2024 through 2027.

This means, more and more Baby Boomers will begin to retire, opening up the workplace for Millennials to take over. But that’s not all.

Man standing beside woman on swing looking at each otherPixabay, Pexels

Gen Z

According to a new analysis of census data from Glassdoor, Gen Z is expected to overtake baby boomers in the workforce by the end of 2024.

Already today, the workforce is giving more Gen Z energy, which seeks purpose and authenticity in their work.

Group of people sitting on a white desk having a meeting with laptops in frontRebrand Cities, Pexels

Generational Values

Although the newer generations have certainly have good things to add, many people still believe it’s important that we don’t lose those old school professional values passed on from the generations before us.

A man and woman having conversation while standing near the windowRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Gen X and Millennial Value Contributions

Generation X pushed for more work-life balance, and millennials wanted the ability to be open to new job opportunities, basically avoiding putting their eggs all in one basket.

All of which are great movements toward the future in the workplace.

Photo of man in black suit-smiling while typing on computer keyboardRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Baby Boomers

But the Baby Boomers set a benchmark for many professional values that they’d like to see stay put for a bit longer. And frankly, it’s hard to dispute.

An elderly man working on his laptop sitting on office deskTima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

Their Strong Work Ethic

Baby boomers often define themselves by their professions and dedication to their jobs.

They’re known for their willingness to work extra hours, and to go above and beyond for the task they’ve been assigned, setting the standard for reliability and commitment in the workplace.

Pensive stylish elderly man speaking on smartphone in creative officeGustavo Fring, Pexels

Their Ability to Be Resourceful

Baby Boomers grew up in a time when not everything was readily available, and they often had to improvise to make the best out of limited resources.

Being able to think of their feet and find solutions in challenging situations is a valuable skill in nearly every work environment.

Elderly man in dark suite holding a tablet sitting on office deskAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Resilience

This generation has experienced numerous economic declines, rapid technological changes, and various social struggles, and yet they continue to adapt and persevere.

Their resilience highlights the importance of flexibility in the face of challenge.

Older woman sitting on a desk using laptop inside an officecottonbro studio, Pexels

Their Financial Planning Skills

Baby Boomers witnessed the aftermath of the Great Depression through their parents eyes, which taught them first-hand lessons in the importance of saving for the future, investing wisely, and avoiding unnecessary debt.

Photo of an elderly man in office holding a pen in black suitGustavo Fring, Pexels

Their Commitment

Baby Boomers are known for their high level of commitment, both personally and professionally. They often work for the same employer for many years, if not their entire career.

Elderly woman wearing red-blazer while working in the officeKarolina Grabowska, Pexels

Their Respect for Authority

Baby Boomers were raised in a more hierarchical society, with a high importance on respect for authority.

They are known to respect the various roles and structure within their employment.

Elderly couple sitting on a wooden table completing documents and talking to each otherKampus Production, Pexels

Their Preference of Face-to-Face Communication

Given the lack of technology growing up, Baby Boomers naturally prefer direct interaction and excel in interpersonal communication.

They are well versed in body language, tone and context—which is often lost in today’s digital world.

An elderly man and woman having conversation while looking at the folderRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Their Ability to Adapt

Although they have a reputation for being set in their ways, Baby Boomers have had to embrace the digital age, and learn to use technology that never existed for them growing up—which highlights their ability to adapt in changes in the workplace, and in society in general.

Elderly white hair worker using machine in a workshopAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Value of Education

For most Baby Boomers, education is seen as success. Even if they were unable to complete a higher education themselves, they are very much encouraging of the younger generations to do so.

They see education as a necessary stepping stone to success.

An elderly woman sitting on a wooden table and reading a book near a lampRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Their Focus on the Community

Baby Boomers are known for their participation in community, including volunteering and supporting charitable initiatives.

This generation shows that contributing to the community is essential for both personal growth and the growth of the community as a whole.

A person handing over a box with food to other personJulia M Cameron, Pexels

Their Patriotism

Baby Boomers are known to value civic duty and participation in democracy—showing commitment in national ideals.

Growing up, they were heavily influenced by national events, which has fostered a strong sense of patriotism.

Senior male engineer reading blueprint wearing a protective yellow helmetAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Need for Self-Improvement

Baby Boomers generally have a need for self-improvement—this includes socially, personally, as well as professionally.

They set an example of lifelong learning and highlight the importance of setting goals.

Man and woman sitting on sofa and smiling while looking at a laptopMarcus Aurelius, Pexels

Their Entrepreneurial Spirit

Many businesses that exist today were started by Baby Boomers. They are driven by a desire for independence, and prove that the rewards of taking calculated risks are worth it.

Elderly man thinking while biting eyeglassesTima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

Their Awareness for the Environment

You may notice that many Baby Boomers are avid recyclers. This is because the environment movement gained significant awareness during the Baby Boomer’s early years, leading to learning the importance of sustainable living.

Senior man and woman planting plants in garden near a houseGreta Hoffman, Pexels

Their Problem-Solving Skills

Baby Booms have been faced with countless new challenges over the years, and usually with limited resources.

This has taught them keen problem-solving skills, including how to approach problems with a combination of experience, knowledge, and creative thinking.

Workers handling detail by pneumatic tool in workshop standing next to each otherAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Loyalty

Baby Boomers are known for committing to their decisions, both personally and professionally. They are often loyal to their favorite brands, as well as their employers.

Loyalty is crucial in both personal and professional contexts.

Focused positive coworkers working with documentsAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Independence

Baby Boomers are incredibly independent. This is seen in their desire to take the DIY approach to most of life’s challenges.

This is also seen in the workplace, when they attempt to tackle challenges first before asking for help.

Focused male mechanic using spray paint on metal detail in a workshopAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Attention to Detail

Growing up before the age of technology, Baby Boomers had to pay close attention to detail when writing reports, planning events, and when working with their hands.

Their attention to detail shows that it makes a big difference in the quality of a product or service.

Male artisan cutting violin from tree in workplaceAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Patience

Baby Boomers grew up without the internet—and social media. Without having everything at their instant disposal, they have learned an incredible amount of patience.

This patience is a counterbalance to today’s culture of instant gratification.

Two women standing next to each other and having a conversation in an officeVlada Karpovich, Pexels

Their Respect for Tradition

Baby Boomers are often the ones in the family who stay true to their traditions, and encourage the future generations to continue them.

Understanding how traditions serve us educationally, as well as personally, is what helps Baby Boomers accept and respect traditions in the workplace.

Two businesswomen working together in an office standing next to each other and having a conversationRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Their Hard Skills

Hard skills, or technical skills, are learned through education or hands-on experience—and Baby Boomers are known to possess a great deal of these, as opposed to the generations of today who learn everything through a screen.

These skills can be hard to find now-a-days.

Aged craftsman making leather bag in workshop with assistantAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Practicality

Baby Boomers have the ability to think practically about situations and challenges that may arise in the workplace, avoiding an emotional or theoretical approach that often make things more complex than they need to be.

Profile Photo of a senior woman with shovel working in gardenGreta Hoffman, Pexels

Their Other Skills

Outside the workplace, Baby Boomers are known to learn a variety of skills simply out of interest. Since they grew up with limited TV and no internet, they spent their time learning hands-on skills, like fixing a car or maintaining their home.

These skills prove to be very beneficial in the workplace as it highlights the value of self-sufficiency.

Close up shot of a bearded man in checkered long sleeve using electronic equipmentGustavo Fring, Pexels

Their Negotiation Skills

Back when Baby Boomers were entering the workforce negotiation was a key skill. They understand the importance of preparation, strategy, and compromise.

Cheerful different ages colleagues shacking hands in officeAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Their Appreciation for Quality

Baby Boomers often come with a strong appreciation for quality. They appreciate good craftsmanship, durability, and they can easily recognize long-term value of investing in quality or quantity.

Man in white crew neck t-shirt holding white figurineJoão Jesus, Pexels


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