According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.6 years is the avearge job tenure in America in 2014—the most recent data available. The combination of midlife + career in search engines results in page after page of “changing you midlife career” and “midlife career crisis.”
One career expert, Alison Doyle, estimates the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career. Many workers spend five years or less in every job, so they devote more time and energy transitioning from one job to another.
Whether voluntarily changing jobs or being forced to find a new career because of circumstance, stress is inevitable according to experts. Rather than making a move as often, try these three tips maintain your job as an experienced worker:
1) Maintain your perspective
We all have tough days, bad years and challenging co-workers or bosses. When you have 20+ years of experience, you can look back on how you handled the less than perfect times previously. One medical device employee told me, “I had a boss who was a nightmare and he was rapidly advancing through the company. I knew he wouldn’t be my boss for more than 2 years at most. He spent most of his time managing to higher ups-we rarely saw him. Me and my co-workers decided we would focus on doing our jobs excellently. Fortunately, in 15 months he was gone.” The next department manager was markedly better according to the worker who now has been with her company for 11 years. As long as your manager is not abusive or harassing, remember your survival instincts. Do your job exceedlngly well and and seek internal opportunities first. It also helps to develop a strong network of positive people inside and outside work, Remember: This too will pass.
2) Keep learning
Never utter the words, “this is the way we have always done it.” Just because you run a report one way doesn’t mean the information could not be processed differently. Even if you have to learn on your own—go online, take a workshop, find your own mentor or coach, watch YouTube videos to update your skills or knowledge. If your company sponsors courses or training—remain open. One manager discussed his employee’s change in attitude, he’s coachable and it is great working with him. It was a pleasant surprise.” Remember all the information, processes and technical information you’ve learned over your long career. You’ve got this!
3) Attitude is Everything
U.S. life expectancy is 80 years and moving up annually. So those of us born in 1957, the largest year of the baby boom, have at least 21 years ahead of us if we remain healthy. Experienced workers may work longer due to economic necessity, a desire to remain productive or for the social interaction. According to an American Psychological Association study, 80% of the people 55+ say they’re remaining on the job with their current employer because they enjoy the work they do. Many mature workers want to extend their careers and cannot because of health reasons or changes at the company. Optimism is a learned trait. Remember, if you work in your later years by choice, foster an attitiude of gratitude. You choose to work, found work and have an opportunity to expand your horizons.