How does age influence career decision-making? Is it true that older people, which I define as anyone making a career transition - whether they are 25 or 65, are "wiser" in career decisions than high-school or college students? According to a survey of studies on work and vocational psychology in the 2007 Annual Review of Psychology, they are.
I singled out a few interesting findings:
- Skills in making decisions increase with age.
- Making a decision is complex, and people who have difficulty making decisions often have other problems, usually related to anxiety.
- Career maturity helps increase confidence in one's ability to make a career decision.
- Your work life will be a series of career transitions. It will not be predictable and the only constant will be change.
- Your work life will be interconnected your personal life. This doesn't mean your coworkers will necessarily be your personal friends, but how you feel about work and the demands it places on you will impact your personal life and relationships.
- Not everyone can choose to be an astronaut. As education costs spiral upward, the differentiation between social classes increases, and the digital divide expands, opportunities to advance into more educated jobs decrease. This is not a political statement; ask any workforce or unemployment counselor and this is their clients' reality.