The most recent poll taken on Workforce50.com yielded some interesting responses. When asked about the most important component of a job, our 50+ audience is pretty evenly split between pay and benefits and the work being interesting and challenging. Actually, the work being interesting and challenging is ever-so-slightly ahead in the polls but statistically not enough to distinguish percentage points. Both received just about 30% of the vote. So what does that say? It seems to indicate that older workers are keenly interested in the quality of their work and their need for rewarding and stimulating work. We can certainly interpret this to say that older workers do not enjoy working day to day just for a pay check. What they are actually doing and accomplishing during their hours of work is extremely important.
On the other end of the spectrum, it was somewhat surprising that only 2% of our respondents were interested in good opportunities for advancement. Done with the rat race, are they? Satisfied with letting the younger folks play “Who can rise to the corner office?”, are they? Does advancement come laden with responsibilities that are ultimately not satisfying to the older worker? Could it be that as we age we gain clarity about what is actually satisfying to the soul? And we have gained the wisdom and humility to say “enough is enough”?
Additional fodder for discussion: only about 18% of our poll takers declared that either coworkers and people or the ability to help people were their top choice for most important component of a job. Actually our respondents were much more interested in the location and proximity of their job to their home than to the people they work with or help. Hmm.
I’ve suggested only plausible interpretations of some of these poll responses. We would love to get feedback from our readers about their own interpretations.