Many people believe that once you hit your 50th birthday that its too late to try out a new career or change jobs. Also, if you’ve already retired it seems almost impossible to rejoin the workforce. All of these ways of thinking have lately been disproved. This is a great time in which to grow older! Here are some statistics that will amaze you. The workforce of people aged 50+ is 33.4% of the US Labor Force — an uptake from 25% in 2002. Also, 60%+ of the workers now are working full time which is an increase of 44% form 1995.
Myths Vs. Facts
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the Five Myths associated with job opportunities for the over fifty crowd. They also made a case for dispelling them. The first myth is: “I’m not goin
“I’m not going to find s good job”
This is not the case. Today, boomers are living longer and living healthier. This means that we are able to take on more demanding jobs and keep up with the younger workers. Also, the economy has shifted from one of manufacturing to that of services. Our thinking skills are considered more valuable than physical ones. The last reason we have a leg up is our enormous experience. We can fill the shortage gap of workers because we are more educated and have the experience.
“You can’t take time off –you’ll never get back to work”
The WSJ claims that almost 40% of boomers take time off and go back to work within two years. This finding was determined by the University of Michigan’s data from the Health and Retirement Study, funded by The Institute of Aging. They have tracked people aged 50+ over the past twenty years. Taking time off is not frowned upon and can be viewed as beneficial. It gives a person time to germinate and reflect on their next phase of life. Also, the research shows that people return to work more by choice than for the income. People often return to work for the mental stimulation and the social connectivity.
The third myth is:
“I’m not going to make as big of a contribution as I did in the past.”
The issue of productivity is not age dependent. People in years past seemed to equate older workers with excess baggage, but this no longer is true. Some research has shown that for the jobs that require experience many older workers perform on a higher level. A researcher in Germany of assembly line workers at a Mercedes-Benz plant found the rates of errors was higher among younger workers. Also, some studies have concluded that the older you are the more productive you can be. The study contends, “experience offsets physical and cognitive decline in the more demanding tasks.” Neurological factors may play into what we now consider to be the wisdom of the older worker. This wisdom translates into productivity because the wisdom of an older aged worker can be utilized by being a role model, consultant or teacher.
The fourth myth is:
“The only work for older people is part-time”
The WSJ claims that the number of people working full time and over the age of 65 has tripled since 1995. This growing number is evidence that there are full time opportunities for those who chose to work full time. You may be wondering why this change has occurred. Some believe it’s due to the experience of the worker. Their skills continue to be valuable in a service oriented world.
The fifth myth is:
“The chance to be an entrepreneur has passed me by”
This myth is contradicted by a non profit group, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that reports people aged 55-64 represent 24.3% of the businesses launched in 2015. The interesting corollary is that people aged 20-34 launched 25% of the startups in 2015, down from 34% in 1996. The Kauffman Foundation believes that due to the older worker population we may be “on the cusp of an entrepreneurship boom.” The years of experience and opportunity over time to save money make it even easier for older people to launch the business of their dreams. It seems from recent research that we baby boomers will have a much easier time of getting jobs or creating our own as we age! ouowne