Jane Lockwood had a mini-epiphany last year. She realised that her age — 54 — had dented her professional self-belief.
“I tend to be less confident about going for promotions . . . I’ve limited myself and thought that the promotions are for the young guys. I’ve always thought about getting my staff up the ladder but lost that aspiration for myself.”
Jane's revelation came during a mid-life MOT organised by Aviva. It was part of a pilot scheme for 100 employees aged over 45 which covered three areas: career, wellbeing and finances. After the high take-up, the company will this year make the MOT available to all staff over 45.
Similar programmes alongside initiatives such as coaching, secondments and sabbaticals may help workers take stock and plan. Increased longevity and pension shortfalls mean that many will be working longer and retiring later. Mid-life workers may feel squeezed between juggling work, and caring for children and parents. Initiatives targeted at those in their 40s and 50s may help to energise those who feel undervalued in a culture that places a premium on younger, cheaper, workers.
Alistair McQueen, Aviva’s head of savings said “There’s an unwritten rule that over 50 there is a flatlining to your career. We realised that we need to support these people, [we] need to keep them in employment.”
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