What Australia’s Ageing Workforce Means For Us All


What Australia’s Ageing Workforce Means For Us All

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – The late Steve Jobs

This is one of my favourite quotes and for good reason too. In my line of work, I often encounter people who aren’t 100 percent happy with the current state of their career. What motivates me is that the happiest and most content of employees don’t treat their career as a spectator sport; they understand that it’s a constant work in progress.

Recent statistics indicate that one in four people in Australia is currently older than 55. Over the next decade, this will increase to an estimated one in three people. We know that people are working longer and that a career spent in the one job and with one company, is now considered a rarity.

For those over 50

If you fit into this category, congratulations! You have a wealth of life and career experience that can’t be bought and it’s now time to relook at your skills, agility, attitude and overall career currency.

What is career currency? It involves understanding and appreciating your unique balance sheet. The assets you possess and why a potential employer would choose to promote or hire you. It’s that reason that gets you out of bed each day, your ‘why?’ Career currency sees you contributing to a larger goal using your skills, knowledge and attributes. In a nutshell, it means answering this question: what do you have to offer in the workplace, today?

I’ve lost count of the number of cases I’ve seen first-hand of people reaching 50+, being made redundant and then becoming somewhat paralysed by current market conditions. They include factors such as employment options, where to and what to do next! As you can imagine, it can be an extremely testing period and it all comes back to this central question: what are employers looking for when hiring?

If you’ve been with the one company or in the one position for some time, it can be difficult to get a good understanding of what companies are looking for in 2018 and beyond. If that describes you, consider chatting with a career coach like me who can help you to wade through the waters.

For those under 55

I recall being younger and thinking, “I don’t have to worry about that now!” Realistically speaking, in today’s rapidly changing and evolving workplace, regardless of whether you’re 25 or 55, you need to be thinking ahead in order to future-proof your career. Everything you’re doing now (or not doing), will result in a future destination and take it from me, time flies! You’d be amazed at how many people I see who went into a position with the mindset to make it a ‘temporary’ job and who find themselves in the same exact place years later. We each spend a lot of time at work – more time than with our loved ones – so you want to be in a role and within a company where you feel like you can thrive and be truly content on a daily basis.

Age should never be a barrier. Attitude is often the biggest barrier at play. By keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest market trends, skills and in-demand careers, you’re future-proofing yourself. It really is never too late to start that business you’ve been dreaming of for many moons or to transition into a new and unrelated career. And you don’t have to do it alone; the most successful people in life know when it’s time to reach out and ask for help or guidance.

Deborah Wilson is a Thought Leader in Executive Careers. She takes a personalised approach to strategic career coaching and career transitions, mentoring, and leadership development. Deborah provides expert guidance for individuals while supporting organisations through change and connecting people and purpose.

Call Deborah on +61 403 779 746. www.ontalent.com.au

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