The minute I saw the trailer for the movie "The Intern" starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, I knew I wanted to see it immediately. I am just eight steps away from the lead character, Ben, who joins a highly successful start- up company as a seventy-year-old intern. I recently re-entered the professional marketing world at 62, and felt such exhilaration as I dressed for my first day in early August. I was starting again after teaching journalism in high school for 18 years.
First of all, I love the aesthetics of the movies Nancy Meyers produces, writes, and directs...she hooks me with New York, fashion, lattes, brownstones, seasonal changes, and moments from the heart. Some critics call it hokey; I call it charming and refreshing. Life is short and challenging. De Niro's character is in that place where spouse is gone, work is gone, funerals are regular occurrences, and day to day can become a little boring. But, he chooses to engage in life once again. He chooses hope.
There are so many life lessons the Boomer generation has learned and can pass on to the youth of today and they are beautifully reflected in this movie. I will touch on them without great detail, because I would like you to see it for yourself. The lessons for a successful career include:
1. Hard work always pays off.
2. Clothing communicates a message about you and your work.
3. Service to others is a daily part of your success.
4. Humility, not pride, will serve you and others well.
5. Be available and wait for the right moment to respond.
6. Arrive before the boss does and leave after the boss leaves.
7. Open lips sink ships.
8. Be a focused listener.
9. Be a detailed observer.
10. Esteem and build up co-workers with edifying words.
At seventy, business is not about the cut-throat rise to the top. It is about being a part of something exciting again and sharing wisdom from the past. Whether or not this wisdom is received by the work force today is still uncertain. But as Hathaway's character discovered...there is great reward in accepting the help and the wisdom. Though she rebelled at first, as if her own parents had showed up on the scene to add stress to her life, she eventually learned Ben was on her side. Her success became his success, as far as he was concerned.
Do you know of any companies embracing senior citizens in this way? If so, please give them a shout out here. Also, if you have re-entered the work force, please tell us how it happened.
Thanks for reading. I so appreciate it.