The Globe and Mail (March 5th, 2008) ran an article by Simon Avery in the business section titled “Canada faces challenge to keep aging economic engine in tune.” According to recent census data the median age of workers in Canada is gradually climbing and now sits at 41.2 years. I, at the soon-to-be age of 44, would qualify perfectly for a job in, say, transportation (44.6). And if I were a farmer I’d also be amongst my peers. In the software, computer programming and occupational therapist circles I might stand out as a more seasoned member of the tribe. The article is a warning of sorts for Industry Canada to wake up – again – to the aging baby boomers and the retirees who have little desire (or perhaps financial ability) to retire and to examine how all of us forty-plus year olds are going to influence and sustain ongoing economic growth.

What the article doesn’t address are the potential advantages that such maturity can bring. By the time we reach our forties many of us would be hard pressed to trade our seasoned perspective for another lap through our twenties and thirties (despite hoping to avoid the effects of gravity on our once firm physiques). Most of us would agree that age brings wisdom and experience. We are probably more self aware. We know our strengths. We are more settled in our skin and less obsessed with what other people think of us. We communicate better. We are more emotionally intelligent. Our priorities and values are clear or at least clearer. These riches, in a world that views aging as pathology, should not be overlooked as they represent a tremendous business asset. […]