By David Schepp
Whether out of economic need or simply a desire to continue working, many baby boomers aren't leaving their jobs anytime soon.
In fact, so many workers 55 and older are staying in the workforce, The Atlantic reports, that by year's end their numbers will surpass those who are aged 25 to 34. And the trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future -- until 2020.
Older workers' expected dominance in the labor market can also be attributed to the inability of many Generation Yers to find full-time work or a job at all. Others have returned to school, hoping to ride out the tight job market, further reducing the number of younger workers participating in the workforce.
Having fewer Gen Y workers entering the workforce may help reduce the tension that experts say exists between them and their older counterparts.
That resentment stems from the generations' opposing views on work, diversity consultant Shirley Engelmeier recently told The Wall Street Journal. Baby boomers came of age at a time when young workers were still expected to pay their dues and slowly climb a career ladder, and view their younger colleagues as "impatient" and "entitled," she says.
But Gen Y is taking a different approach. Frequently more tech-savvy and entrepreneurial in their thinking, 20- and early 30-somethings aren't concerned about being loyal to one company, and instead expect to work for many employers during their lifetimes.
Still, with boomers forecast to maintain a strong presence throughout the remainder of the decade, both groups would be well served if they simply tried to get along.
As Engelmeier told the Journal, sticking to stereotypes and assumptions "will only get in the way of what could otherwise be great working relationships."
EARLIER ON HUFF/POST50: 7 Ways To Smooth Over The Age Gap At Work
#1 Eliminate untrendy slang.
Just speak plain English. That's always in fashion.
#2 Refrain from using expressions such as "You aren't old enough to remember this... "
They are not only insulting, but also add to unnecessary and awkward attention to age gaps.
#3 Expect ongoing changes in technology and try to stay open.
Overcome your reluctance to texting, Twitter, and Facebook. Stop explaining how it used to be -- how you bent over a light box with an Exacto knife to cut and paste, as opposed to a strike of a computer key. Instead, read up on technology articles, take seminars to keep yourself current and always ask for advice from web-savvy friends and family members.
#4 Use your age to your benefit.
Achieve this by evaluating how to build and bridge ideas, pulling in additional work.
#5 Acknowledge the talents and strengths of the younger group.
Articulate what they are and why they're important.
#6 Request time-outs during long meetings to refocus the group, lessen tension and find new directions.
Younger techies can benefit from your team building and negotiation skills.
#7 Make an effort to mentor one or two younger people who have talent but need some advice and coaching.
You'll be doing a service and building a team of loyal fans at the same time.