It is important to discover how to stay relevant as a legacy employee. Have you been with your community bank or credit union over 20 years? Do you have a lot of knowledge that few employees have in your institution? Do you remember how “things were done” 20 plus years ago? Then you are what I lovingly call a “legacy employee.” You are valuable!
Do you find yourself trying to keep up with technology? Are the “new people” changing everything you used to do to a new way of doing things? Do you sometimes feel lost in the sea of information and don’t know where to begin to stay on top? Then you are what I respectfully call a “legacy employee.” You are in transition!
If you have been with your organization for 20-50 years, and want to learn how to stay relevant as a legacy employee, below are some tips that will inspire you to enjoy this season in your career:
Willingness to learn.
One of the keys to being a successful professional is to adopt a life-long learning attitude. The moment you lose the ability or willingness to learn, you start lagging. Attitude is everything! Your continued willingness to learn will open new doors of opportunity within your organization and you will experience less stress on your job.
Share your knowledge.
When you are willing to share all the amazing knowledge you have accumulated over your career with your coworkers, you will become a most valuable asset! It may seem that if you share information you will not be needed anymore. But it works the other way around. The more you share, the more others will seek your advice and input.
Mentoring is taking someone under your wing and sharing your experiences with them. Mentoring is different than training in that mentoring is more informal, and you choose to mentor someone. Most likely what you mentor others on is not in any book because it’s based on your own life experiences. As you start thinking of your next adventure in life, you will find that leaving a legacy of knowledge is very satisfying. Your organization will keep you for as long as you want to because you are voluntarily creating your own succession plan.
Be open to new jobs.
Often workers who are contemplating retirement, want to stay put those last 3-5 years and not be bothered with having to move to a new position. They feel scared to learn and may feel threatened by others who have more technological knowledge. But taking on new jobs can help you stay sharp and may open new doors to stay in the workforce longer than you planned—not because you had to but because you want to and enjoy your new responsibilities. You may fill a need in your institution precisely because of your longevity with the organization.
Typically, you may think of coaching the new generation or emerging leaders. However, being coachable simply means being open to doing things in a different way. Additionally, and regardless of age, some people may always need coaching to improve their communication or interpersonal skills. It takes humility to stay coachable throughout your career but it’s very rewarding to see your continued improvement.
It is important to discover how to stay relevant as a legacy employee. I hope these tips inspired you to act and continue to learn as you enjoy your present season in your career.