Hanging on or bowling along? Thriving, surviving and performing in late career

2015-12-15T10:12:44Z (GMT) by Stanimira Taneva John Arnold
Both the human resources (HR) and the traditional career development literatures tend to portray late career as a time of inertia, with policies being designed to enable people to survive in the workplace until they (and their employer) are rescued by retirement – a rescue service that arrives later than it once did. In this presentation we examine the approaches taken by older workers to their jobs and the factors that appear to help or hinder the extent to which they feel they are (i) surviving and (ii) thriving at work. We also comment on the generalizability or otherwise of our findings across sectors and countries. 698 older workers, mostly aged over 55, in the health and IT sectors in UK and Bulgaria completed an online questionnaire which included validated measures of a number of key constructs, as well as some newly-developed ones. We report on the strategies the older workers use to deal with their work, the job characteristics and HR policies they experience, the extent to which they feel they are thriving, surviving, and performing. Finally, we comment on the implications of our findings for the ways in which organizations, including universities, utilise and support their numerous older workers.