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Job happiness declines at the age of 35

If life begins at 40, workplace dissatisfaction begins at 35 – the age that has been linked to a decline in job happiness.
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Happiness Works has conducted research alongside recruitment firm Robert Half UK and found that older workers are exhibiting a decline in job happiness.

Just eight per cent of those aged 18-34 said they’re unhappy in their jobs, but the study suggests more time in a role will take its toll on staff. Indeed, job happiness declines further among older respondents as 16 per cent said they’re unhappy, rising to 17 per cent for those over 55.

Factors impacting job happiness include workplace stress, something a third of over 35s claim to suffer from – this fell to a quarter for those under 35. Work-life balance also appears to be an issue, with 12 per cent of 35-54 year-olds finding equilibrium difficult, increasing to 17 per cent of over 55s.

“Employees that are aged over 35 have valuable experience that the whole organisation can learn and benefit from,” explained Phil Sheridan, senior MD at Robert Half UK. “It’s important that their happiness is not neglected, so businesses need to take the time to invest in their staff at all levels.”

Elsewhere, in addition to more job happiness, 68 per cent of 18-34 year-olds claim they feel like they can be themselves at work and more than half feel creative at 55 per cent. That declines significantly to 38 per cent for the 35-54 age group and 31 per cent for over 55s.

Age also plays an impact in terms of making friends. Older workers are far less likely to consider colleagues their friends, with just 14 per cent claiming they have pals at work, severely below the 62 per cent of 18-34 year-olds that believe they have good friends.

Part of the job happiness problem is down to feeling undervalued. Some 15 per cent of under 35s feel unappreciated, rising to 25 per cent and 29 per cent for 35-54 year olds and over 55s respectively.

Sheridan added: “Simple things like conducting regular performance reviews, offering new opportunities for learning and setting ambitious career goals are all steps that can ensure more tenured workers feel appreciated and that career goals don’t become static.”

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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