About Me

My photo
Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. Her functional experience includes a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 30 years. She is currently in Consulting & Analytics Business Development for a health care firm. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires a strategy. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Welcome to the Sandwich Generation!

When the hour I spent with my tax preparer marked the highlight of my week, it showed what a rough seven days had passed. From a four-hour business trip that morphed into a twenty-two hour travel odyssey and enough family drama to quiet the Kardashians; this is my tribute to the Sandwich Generation.

You probably fit in this category too. According to the Pew Research Center over 1 in 8 Americans aged 40-60 is caring for a parent and responsible for a child (of any age). An additional 7-10 million adults care for their aging parents from long distance. Make the picture more complex by looking for work (a stressor unto itself), being under-employed (almost worse) or having a full-time job. I’m sure you have felt the squeeze. Everyone has their own way of dealing with the sandwich, and that is one of the benefits of getting older. You have experience—muscle memory of what you did before that succeeded.

I remember the first time the pipes froze and burst while I was away on a business trip. It was January 1994 and it seemed like one of those my-head-is-going-to-explode moments. My then 2 ½-year-old had a bad cold and could not go to day care; a major proposal needed me in the office to negotiate internally with business unit marketing, sales and finance on where to position our initial offer. As I opened the door from the garage to the house with luggage and snotty-nosed toddler in hand, water was everywhere! Without a lot of experience, I began to cry. Out of sympathy, I guess, my son began to wail uncontrollably expelling yellow phlegm all over his coat. I shut the door, left the luggage in the garage, hopped in the car and drove ten miles to visit an older wiser friend and mother of six children to get help and advice.

I share this personal moment with you because nineteen years later, I’ve evolved into that older wiser woman (without the six kids) that others come to visit for help and encouragement. Many pipes have burst in my life and I’m sure you relate as well. The sandwich generation knows when we are tested at work or at home; our true nature comes to the surface. The essence of who we are really begins to shine and the years of experience we have in life begins to trump what we think we’ve lost in getting older.

Create a great week! I know you can do it.


  1. I'm a single working Mom and my parents (67 & 74) just moved in with me and my 13 & 15 year-old sons. I'm finishing up my MBA. One of my classmates forwarded this post to me and I laughed and I cried reading it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love your talent of writing professionally. I am impressed of your valuable posts. Your blog is super awesome. Keep writing more.

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback! Please share the blog w/ your colleagues.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.