The BLOG: Voices

Move Over, Baby Boomers. It’s Time For The Millennials.

Dear Baby Boomer,

This is a message of love from a millennial.  I hope it doesn’t hurt your feelings.  I simply want to suggest that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to retire.  Call it quits.  Head out to pasture.  

Perhaps it’s time to throw in the towel.  Take a long walk down an empty beach.  Ride off into the sunset.

I’m not referring to all boomers.  Not by ANY stretch of the imagination.  I’m simply talking to those of you who have decided that this new world sucks and instead of trying to grow in it and navigate through it, you’re fighting it.

Recently I wrote a piece about why you should hire millennials.  I had a pleasant (and not so pleasant) mix of comments from all generations.  A ton of boomers weighed in.  Some of them talked about how they bring value, class and guidance to millennials while simultaneously learning from them.  You, my friends, should not even consider retiring any time soon.  You are the future just as much as the millennials are the future, because you help power change and fuel growth.

Other boomers – in addition to people in their 40’s and 50’s – were NOT happy with my suggestions that perhaps you need to adjust your line of thinking for integrating millennials into your business model.  And when I suggested that many millennials don’t give a damn about a pension but are thrilled to crack open a Red Bull, you’d think that I had just insulted these people personally. 

Do me a favor for a minute.  Hop down off of that high horse so we can have some real talk.  

I’m not really sure what generation you THINK you’re living in, but pensions are going away.  Quickly.  Not only are they no longer affordable by many businesses, but many people don’t stay NEARLY long enough to ever qualify for one anyway.

And your “pensions” and “collective negotiating”, in case you missed it, is part of what’s driving many STATES into a dire situation when it comes to managing their budgets.  (That, and of course the fact that they think you can spend, spend, spend and tax the working people and businesses to death.)

So forgive me if I think those of you whining about how millennials are more interested in a flexible work schedule than in a pension need to drink a big glass of chill the hell out.

Truth be told, some of the greatest members of my team are the older generation.  But these are the men and women adapting.  Growing.  Learning.  TEACHING.  These are the employees studying, tracking, measuring, and helping younger generations to take traditional values and old school handshakes and merge them with these new digital arenas to fuel hybrid growth.

Then, of course, there’s that population of boomers hanging out on the fence.  

“Oh, I don’t need to know about social media – I’m retiring in a few years.”  

“Digital marketing?  By the time that’s important, I’ll be relaxing on a beach.”

Well, my friends, the tidal wave isn’t coming.  It’s here.

It’s time for you to do a little soul searching, boomers.  Because maybe it’s time to retire.  Or maybe…just maybe…we can’t afford for you to ever retire.  I’m hoping that you’re among the latter.



Kyle S. Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing. He’s also an acclaimed keynote speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can follow him on Facebook.