Why I love Betty White
Betty White is by all counts a living legend. Her first television appearance was in 1939 as a dancer. Since then, she’s been nominated for 33 awards and won 27 times. She’s even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female)”. Plus she was a Golden Girl….Enough said.
Clearly, Betty White is a towering figure in the entertainment industry. But many of us mere mortals also have amazing skills and talent. So, if Betty can continue to create the life she wants, why can’t anybody, if not everybody else do the same.
Why do older workers sell themselves short? Let’s take a few tips from Betty:
Push Those Boundaries
Betty White isn’t a one-trick pony, and neither are you. Her most famous characters were a man-eating happy homemaker (Sue Ann Nivens), a ditzy retiree from St. Olaf, Minnesota (Rose Nylund) and most recently, a fierce hellion (Elka Ostrovsky). Between these series she appeared on numerous other shows. Lately she’s starred in an award-winning Super Bowl ad and, at 88, hosted Saturday Night Live (“SNL”). She is the oldest host in the history of SNL and won a Primetime Emmy for her efforts. She even stayed for the SNL after-party, where she received a standing ovation and hung out with the cast and fans until 3 am.
How many senior citizens do you know who are willing to try anything and have this kind of stamina?
Have Joy in your life
Joy is what Betty White brings to everything she does. You can always see that gleam in her eyes – on and off stage. She takes great joy in volunteering and also has interests outside of work. She adores animals and has worked tirelessly as an Ambassador to the Animals at the Los Angeles Zoo for the past 9 years, since 2006.
In my business, older workers surprise me the most. They look like they are having the best of fun. They are now enjoying work without the pressure of young family life or the stress of a mortgage. They get to travel when and wherever they like. But they are doing it with a smile on their faces. Pauline Keegan is one such lady. She exuded energy, a positive outlook, and a passion for leadership and helping others. She has just turned 70. You can bet she will still working at 90!
On the other hand, lack of energy and enthusiasm can strike at any age. We all know how demoralizing a long job search can be. How Career Fatigue can set in. But it doesn’t help to be disengaged, or negative. This is a victim mentality. No one wants to work with someone who is fundamentally unhappy or negative. Think of Betty White’s positivity to increase your opportunities.
You can often see Betty White seated in her TV scenes. But hey she is 93, let cut her some slack.
It’s true that as we age we get more aches and pains. Most of these can be alleviated with a minor accommodation. Candidates need to be outspoken about what workplace modifications they need to do the best job. Companies need to remember that they often have a legal obligation to engage in an interactive conversation to find a reasonable accommodation.
The best thing is to stay as healthy and active as you can– Be the Best YOU!
Would you want to be told at 65 or 68 that you HAVE to retire? If you had the opportunity to work into your 70’s and 80’s would you want to? Or would you would you like to work until you decided just like Betty White.
Guess what? I bet you didn’t know that Betty White is older than sliced bread. Really! Betty White was born 6 years before sliced bread was invented. And she sure isn’t stale!
Betty is 93 and still working, why cant you?