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Rhea

It's probably true that change is not as welcome as we age. I'm 51 and I am teaching myself a new career, but in general I do think I am less apt to change. But when I think about it, I've been that way all my life!

Steve Roesler

Well, Rhea, it does really make sense, eh?

But the fact that it isn't "welcome" doesn't negate the fact that we all learn, in our own ways (hopefully), how to navigate life.

BTW: Anyone from my home state who uses the word "Ennui" in her blog sub-head was clearly destined to leave.

All the best and thanks for weighing in. . .

Dan Erwin

Although I was familiar with the research on aging, the one thing that struck me was how true it is that as we get older we become more agreeable. I have a coffee clatch of seven or eight diverse professionals, retired naval officer, biochemist, statistican, social security manager, violinist, etc. With all our differences, we talk about nearly anything, and though we might have disagreed strongly in our twenties or thirties we merely question and laugh today. None of those typical issues matter that much.

Another intriguing thing is how often others in their twenties and thirties want into the conversation. They tend to be more questioning than contributing, but still we push them for ideas, etc. They're a diverse racial and religious group, including Somali, Indian, Algerian, the usual Scandinavians and Anglos.

Jo Jordan

Oh dear. OK change was imposed upon me and I was always adventurous professionally, but I don't find the young generation innnovative. Stuck in the mud, rather.

Age and experience gives us range. When we are young we evaluate by what we know . . which isn't much as we haven't had time to try very much.

But that doesn't mean the young don't have a valuable perspective. I ask them for their advice on the grounds that they can only do what they understand, so I might as well start from their point of view.

But I am looking for someone who can rapidly take on new ideas and procedures. And I am also looking for someone who is curious about other people's ideas. With rare exceptions, that kicks in extraordinarily late - mid 30's or so, if at all.

Steve Roesler

Dan,

I've often wondered if we're more agreeable or less inclined to waste energy disagreeing. We (hopefully) become more discerning in what we can and cannot change; and, hopefully, are able to listen more peacefully to a different point of view. With genuine maturity the need to be seen as "right" wanes.

You are fortunate to have that kind of a coffee group. I miss mine; many of the members have passed away but met regularly from about 1976 until a couple of years ago.

The idea of the younger crowd's questioning posture is intriguing and encouraging. I would choose to interpret that as a sign of respect for people from whom they believe they can learn.

Thanks for the personal touch. . .

Steve Roesler

Jo,

Well, I guess it's always a challenge to find just the right person for certain tasks.

Procedures are teachable; the younger one is, the less chance one has of exposure to certain procedures.

Your description of what you are looking for sounds like a good foundation for developing interview questions and screening candidates based on their experiences, even outside of the job description. If you are subconsciously looking for a certain degree of maturity and experience, then you'll no doubt feel more comfortable with someone who has both characteristics.

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