Saturday, September 08, 2012

Book: "Mid and Late Career Issues: An Integrative Perspective"

The University of Florida has announced the publication of Mid and Late Career Issues: An Integrative Perspective," which finds that older workers learn more quickly and have more drive than some employers might believe. Based on a synthesis of the limited literature on the topic as well as numerous in-depth interviews with older workers and recent retirees, the authors challenge the stereotypes associated with older workers, such as they are more difficult to train and they lack energy compared with younger colleagues.

The book is co-authored by Mo Wang, an associate professor of management and co-director of the Human Resource Research Center at the Warrington College of Business Administration, Deborah A. Olson, an associate professor of management and leadership at the University of La Verne (Calif.), and Kenneth Shultz, a professor of psychology at California State University, San Bernadino.

According to the book, older workers are often better at certain types of work, such as customer service, because they are better equipped to deal with emotional aspects of the job. Experiences such as raising children and caring for elderly parents provide older workers with the skills to deal with emotional obstacles. Such life experience also benefits workers when they change jobs or face layoffs.
“We really found no basis to argue that older workers are harder to train than younger workers,” Wang said. “This stereotype often contributes to employers’ unwillingness for hiring older workers.”

Wang said that when workers reach their early 40s, their career priorities could change. No longer preoccupied with advancement, older workers reassess their position and value.

“When you get to be 40 or 45, your future in your organization becomes clear,” Wang said. “You’re thinking less about climbing the career ladder. You begin to think of other ways to have a legacy.”

Source: University of Florida News Release (September 7, 2012)

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