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Gloria Davis, “Exciting Seniors” Exec. Producer / TV Host, former candidate U.S. Congress, former State director Miss U.S.A., Executive producer, Senior CA Pageant, Award of U.S. Congress for working with Seniors.
By Jennifer Brown
Meet Gloria Davis. At 82 years of age, part of the “Traditionalists” or “Silent” Generation, those who are approximately 63 and older, Gloria says she is far from retirement. She is part of a growing population of older workers who are remaining in the workforce by blending their vast professional experiences with new technology and younger peers.
I met Gloria when she came to Jobfox, where I work to help people use the site to find their next career opportunities.
Although skeptical, at first, of Jobfox’s new technology and the sometimes “cold world” of the Internet (as she describes it),
Gloria dove in — head first — and was surprised when she was immediately introduced to her new employer, Ferrufino, a home/office interior design and services company…
“To me, retirement is another word for death. When you allow the body to stop working, it dies. The body needs to meet the challenges of creating and accomplishing goals to stay alive.”
– Gloria Davis, 82
Gloria has been brought on as a new sales representative and design consultant. I was impressed. For one, Gloria’s example smashes the myth that older workers cannot be eager adopters of new technology and social networking tools such as Jobfox.
Gloria passed with flying colors. Also, I am impressed with Gloria’s energy. She doesn’t need to work, but is driven by a sense of civic duty and the desire to remain a meaningful contributor to society.
The Silents are the oldest workers. Many, like Gloria, work because they want to.
For others, it is economic necessity. Either way, this is a group that makes up about 8 percent of the workforce. Some are starting their own businesses. Those like Gloria are trying out new careers, volunteering, or joining community and political groups.
Wake up Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials!
This is you in the future. I hope you enjoy my interview with Gloria, 82-years young, who provides great insight on the virtues of patience and never giving up.
Gloria is the poster child for what to do with the gift of longer, improved lifespans.
According to the Census Bureau, people who turn 65 in 2011 can expect to live, on average, at least another 18 years.
Me: How do you like the new job you found from Jobfox?
Gloria: My lovely new boss is Julia, with her husband, Earl. Both are very alert, highly intelligent, young and in their early 50s. They have plans for expansion, which includes my work. My work will consist of obtaining a new market for custom furniture, window coverings, draperies, etc., for industrial and commercial firms.
The reason they hired me is for my background with corporate contacts in several types of businesses, much of it in the airlines industry.
Julia commented that my experience is sometimes overwhelming, but I am used to that since, at my age, I have covered many types of businesses and kept good contacts with my people.
Me: So, you prefer the term “adult American” over senior citizen?
Gloria: My reason for the term “adult American” is the image of a strong, healthy person with the ability to achieve. “Senior,” in many people’s minds, seems to mean a sickly little person who is almost finished with life as we know it.
I have been lecturing that 80 is the new 60.
Society is becoming more aware that adult Americans are living longer and healthier lives and are achieving more in the business world.
Statistically, there are now more than 50,000 people in the United States living past 100 — many still working. So the story is more real, every day.
Me: What are some of your other work experiences?
Gloria: My many years at the airport have been noticed by the supervisors. They have asked me to be on the LAX Modernization Committee. I have knowledge of the need to fix the airport for both workers and the flying public.
I also ran for the House of Representatives. I ran on the Republican ticket against Rep. Jane Harman.
We have become friends and I do support her. She owns the Harman Karden Company, which provides sound systems for airlines world-wide. She has plenty of funding behind her and she is hard to beat, mostly because she does a good job in the House.
Me: How do you feel about today’s workplaces?
Gloria: How I feel about today’s workplaces is hard to answer. I have noticed there is a lack of professional appearance in fashion. This includes men and women. There is also a lack of common sense in handling customer services in almost every type of business. Most people have very poor spelling, reading and courtesy in the office with contacts. My observations can certainly go on, but there are occasionally a few companies that foot the bill and do move forward with high credits. So, they are the hope of the future.
Gloria: As an older person or “adult American,” yes, of course we can add value to the workplace. We have been out there and done that. We know how to do it all in good fashion, good taste and with personality.
Me: A recent Jobfox poll found that many company leaders think of
Gen Y as “slackers.” How do you feel about that?
Gloria: That’s new to me. In my area of the country, they are coming along and I feel there is a new generation of talented career people growing into the business world.
Me: How do you feel about Traditionalists being viewed as poor performers?
Gloria: They obviously haven’t read history. Check out the writers of the Constitution. All of them were older people for that time.
Me: How come you aren’t retiring?
Gloria: To me, retirement is another word for death.
When you allow the body to stop working, it dies. I saw that in my medical technology work of 20 years. The body needs to meet the challenges of creating and accomplishing goals to stay alive.