Job satisfaction drops at age 35 … but there’s an upside — Forever 39 Podcast
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Imagine being one of those people who dreads going to work — the alarm clock rings at 7 a.m., and you spend the next 10 minutes convincing yourself why it's not to your advantage to stay home and binge-watch Netflix. If you're 35 and over, this is more likely to be a problem.
A recent study from human resource firm Robert Half U.K. finds that workplace dissatisfaction starts to drop at age 35. The study polled more than 2,000 workers in the U.K., and found that 16 percent of them between the ages of 35 to 54 admit they are unhappy in their jobs. And while 16 percent might seem like a small number, it's not when compared to the way millennials feel about their jobs. Only 8 percent of millennials, those between the ages of 18 to 34, reported they were unhappy at their jobs.
So why does job satisfaction dip so drastically once workers hit 35? According to the survey, stress plays a huge part, with over one-third of workers 35 and older saying they found their job stressful. Workers with more years on the job are also likely to have added responsibilities that their younger co-workers don't have. Combine that with the likelihood that some of these people are probably also raising families and paying a mortgage, it's no wonder the stress they experience at work can make them feel unsatisfied.
Another sore spot is the lack of work-life balance that workers 35 and older reported having. According to the survey, 12 percent of employees indicated they struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
And things aren't so great for American workers either. Gallup surveyed over 195,000 U.S workers for its 2017 "State of the American Workplace," and found the majority of workers are simply just going through the paces at work. Thirty-three percent of workers indicated being engaged at work, while 16 percent said they were disengaged. So what about the rest? Well, "they're just there," according to Gallup chairman and CEO Jim Clifton.
If you're having a hard time punching the clock these days, know that things aren’t all bad! As workers get older, they're more likely to be themselves at work, according to the Robert Half U.K. survey. In fact, 68 percent of those between 35 to 54 reported feeling free to be themselves at work. And it didn't stop there. Over 50 percent also said they felt they were able to be creative.
So if you're feeling unhappy in your job, there are a few things that could turn things around. For starters, 25 percent of workers aged 35 to 54 polled in the Robert Half U.K. survey said they didn't feel appreciated by their employers. That compares to 59 percent of those between the ages of 18 to 34 that did feel appreciated. So perhaps if employers would just say thanks here and there, that would help.
But it doesn't just stop with appreciation. Learnvest also suggests that workers follow these three tips:
- Make friends in the office
- Take time off
- Learn a new skill set
In this episode of Forever 39, we discuss job dissatisfaction among Generation X, and what we're doing to combat it.
Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Confusing nutritional information. PLUS: Retail stores and websites we can't get enough of! Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.
— Annette and Megan, Forever 39
Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about why giving your spouse the "best friend" label isn't a good idea, unlimited vacation time at U.S. companies, and how our cell phones are stressing us out.