Being in the Workforce in your 40’s

Jo Lyle

17 Sep 2017 | Jo Lyle

I recently read a contract that stated that if you employ someone over 45, the company is entitled to receive money from the government as an incentive. I almost died! 55yrs—65yrs I understand, but 45?! Although I am not quite there yet, I am not far off and the idea that to help me become employed the government has to put in a sweetener, horrifies me.

So it got me thinking about working in my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.

In my 20’s, I was invincible, if I missed out on one job, well another would be around the corner. Working long hours was totally cool as I could go out with my friends until late and then easily back up the next day. I had very few commitments, and working was a way to fund my lifestyle.

In my 30’s I had 12 years of work experience behind me and so I felt almost as confident as in my 20’s. However by the end of my 30’s my commitments were increasing and free time was diminishing.

Then I hit my 40s.

Just for the record, on a personal level I really like being in this 4th decade of my life. I feel more confident and I am much fussier with who I spend time with and how. The challenge I face now  is that there are now a whole lot of people in their 20’s and 30’s that are clipping at my heels. They are a generation who grew up with technology.  My 7 year old son gave a power point presentation to his class the other day. I didn’t even eyeball that program until I was in my 20’s!

Technology is moving at a cracking pace. It is fair to say that getting older in a workplace that is primarily driven by a younger more technologically savvy workforce is scary.

However, you know what? In your 40’s means you have worked for several different industries. Had many different positions. Worked for perhaps big companies, small companies and start ups. You have a greater understanding of how business works, the intricacies on what makes business successful or not successful. You would have developed a thicker skin based on dealing with 20 + years of being in the workforce. This is what makes the over 40’s the best employees around (if I do say so myself).

So, if you are in the workforce in your 40’s, don’t feel disheartened, you have life experience and no-one can teach you that!

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