The saying that something’s get better with age like wine, it seems holds true for happiness in the work place.
According to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research 90% of employees over age 50 describe themselves as “somewhat or very satisfied” with the work they do. The older workers hold these feeling regardless of gender, race, education, political views, and income level.
What may be surprising to some is that the older workers have these feeling despite the fact that a large number of them have experienced challenges related to age in the workplace, for example being passed up for promotion or a raise. Yet they continually express positive feeling when questioned about their workplace experience.
According to Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs:
“Older Americans are not only growing rapidly in numbers, but are also becoming substantially healthier. The duration of healthy old-age is increasing, due in part to increases in the length of life and to shorter and later periods of illness. Faced with the expectations of living healthier for longer, older adults may opt to remain in the workforce for longer and defer savings, pensions, and Social Security for older age.”
There are a couple of reasons for these phenomena. The first is that studies on happiness have consistently shown that there is an inverted bell curve when it comes to happiness. We are Very happy in our youth and as we age this enthusiasm for life wanes bottoming out around the mid-forties. Once we pass our midlife crisis happiness begins to rise again.
The second reason the older workers may be happier is they have already climber the career ladder and enjoy increased financial security and they no longer feel driven to compete for advancement.
Bottom line if you want a happier workforce, hire the older worker and if you aren’t happy at work, hang in there because in time you will be.