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October 01, 2007

Baby Boomers and Training

By Mona Piontkowski (www.seminarinformation.com)

Well it finally happened - I actually took a vacation - sure I've taken off the occasional Friday and Monday and called a long weekend my vacation. But this year - determined to relax - I decided to take two full weeks away from the office - not even check my email and being in Europe my cell phone was useless! What a joy!!!!

Being the typical baby boomer I have been chained to my desk for the last oh so many years. How could the company function if I were away - who would do my job? Obviously since I'm writing this from work - the company survived without me. Who'd have thunk?

I decided to go to Tuscany to a cooking school - Tuscan Women Cook - for a whole week of learning to cook Italian at the elbow of some cute little Italian women. This cooking school seemed perfect - a week in the Tuscan countryside staying at a medieval hotel with morning cooking classes and afternoon trips to surrounding cities. I'd relax, sightsee and learn - being a baby boomer it seems we can't get away from learning. In our lifetimes we have had to learn and unlearn so many new technologies it boggles the mind. We are a generation of learners - we have never really left school - OK now they call it continuing education and seminars - but every few months, it seems, we are required to learn some new technology just to keep up. Our younger contemporaries, the Gen X, Y and Z are easier adapters - they have always just accepted the latest technology without question - eager in fact, to explore new territory. We boomers, on the other hand, don't give up the past without a fight.

Most of my fellow classmates were contemporaries - boomers looking to learn something new. It has become a trend - the boomer generation - still the largest percentage of the population - seems to be unwilling to go quietly into retirement. Those of us still actively working are taking seminars in record numbers - not only work related, but fun-related - like my Tuscan cooking class. We are refusing to let our skills atrophy - we constantly are in search of new challenges. Most of us, the reports say, aren't prepared to retire in the near future - what would we do with the free time - we've never quite learned how to handle that. Training companies should look into this segment of the marketplace and create seminars for those boomers still working as well as those looking to retire and keep their minds active. I, for one, have marked down on my calendar - yes I still use a calendar - a return trip to Tuscan Women Cook in two years for the advanced course. You really didn't expect me to take another vacation next year - did you?


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Joe Giunta

As a training manager and teacher, I think those boomers able to take vacations regularly should do what you did - make it a learning experience. For us old timers, learning is the ultimate adventure. While some may prefer to climb rocks or bungie jump down a cliff, most of us would prefer to learn something new. Learning is exciting, fun and usually pretty safe.

It must have been wonderful for you to learn to cook pasta in the morning and see Florence in the afternoon. Your mind should have been light years away from your work. So many of us take vacations that are just as tiring (and boring) as our jobs. Combining time off with learning is a stimulating way to spend a couple of weeks. Don't give it up.



It was a truly wonderful experience - and no cliff jumping!

We boomers have to keep our minds active - not just stressed.

Best part no cell phone!


Mitch Bowler

I think the real dream is how to do exactly what you did, but instead of just 2 weeks once a year, do it 4 or 5 times a year as you see fit.

When you really start to look at different parts of the world your dollars can really go a long way.

I've been reading the 4 hour work week and even have taking a cooking class in Italy on my list of things to do - how inspiring to have stumbled onto your post - I thought I was the only one!

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For any folks invested in more and better resident contribution, that is a knock back, i believe. But strangely enough, the newest one-pager Can involve many responsibilities around consultation.

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