The "threshold age" when people start becoming less satisfied with their job situations? 35. Older workers can experience disappointment with their level of achievement, start to feel like their work-life balance needs help because of children or other family obligations, or simply become disillusioned, according to a new study by U.K. recruitment company Robert Half.
The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 U.K. employees, found that one in six British workers over 35 said they were unhappy, which is more than double the figure for those under 35. Put in a different way, only 8% of 18-to-34-year-olds consider themselves unhappy at work. Comparatively, 16% of 35-to-49-year-olds and 17% of people over 55 feel the same way. People over 55 were the most likely to feel under-appreciated, with nearly a third saying this was the case.
"There comes a time when either you haven't achieved success, work has burned you out, or lived experience tells you family is more important," Cary Cooper, a workplace researcher at Manchester Business School, told Bloomberg. "You ask yourself: 'What am I doing this for?'"
While this may sound like good news for millennials, it also raises questions about the way organizations treat older employees.
"Employees that are aged over 35 have valuable experience that the whole organization can learn and benefit from," Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half, said in a statement.