Sunday, March 06, 2011

New Zealand: Research on Encore Careers Finds Older Workers Happier, Healthier

In an article for The New Zealand Herald, Greg Fleming writes about encore careers and draws on a Waikato University study focused on encore careers--meaningful work, paid or unpaid in the second half of life--which has found older people who work are happier and healthier than those who don't.

Fleming also notes that the study found that not all older workers experienced smooth transitions and that some of those surveyed for the research struggled to find meaningful work, found employment agencies unhelpful, and success often depended on individual initiative. He quotes research fellow Dr. Margaret Richardson of the Waikato Management School: "Many managers had negative stereotypes of older workers believing that they were unable to change and lacked the appropriate job-seeking skills such as how to write a CV and how to present at interviews."

Richardson, along with Mary Simpson and Ted Zorn, has also presented a paper on ""Out the Door," "Back for More," or "New Horizons": Multiple Meanings for Encore Careers" at the 2010 at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association. In this paper, the authors set out preliminary findings of a study into New Zealanders’ experiences with encore careers, and the authors illustrate the different discourses and meanings that encore workers and, to a lesser extent, managers associated with their experiences in or with encore careers—in paid or voluntary work.

Source: The New Zealand Herald "Older workers choosing work over retirement" (March 6, 2011)

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