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Over 35 and unhappy in your job? You're not alone


We can't all have our dream job, and we can all admit there's some pretty terrible jobs out there anyone would find hard to enjoy. However, recent research by recruitment firm Robert Half shows that it's not just some of us who don't enjoy their work.

According to the research, almost one fifth (17%) of people over the age of 55 are unhappy at work. Those in Generation X don’t fare much better with 16% of 35-54 year olds admitting they are also unhappy in their roles.

That's double the number of Millennials that said the same. In contrast to the older generations, less than one in ten (8%) of those aged 18-34 claimed to be unhappy in their jobs.

While the research was conducted among employees in the UK, it's not unlikely that happiness of your staff starts to decline as they get older since the things that influence employee happiness are arguably universal.

For example, older generations are more heavily affected by workplace stress. One third (34%) of those aged over 35 found their job stressful. This figure is significantly lower for 18-34 year olds where only a quarter (25%) said they suffered from stress.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, complaints about work-life balance also seem to increase with age. In total, 12% of those aged 35-54 and 17% of those aged over 55 said they struggle to juggle work with other aspects of their life. In comparison, one in 10 Millenials feel the same.

Feeling underappreciated is another issue affecting employees over 35. A quarter (25%) of 35-54 year olds feel underappreciated, with this figure rising to 28% for those aged over 55. Meanwhile, only 15% of staff aged 18-34 feel undervalued.

Commenting on the findings, Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half UK, said: "Employees that are aged over 35 have valuable experience that the whole organisation can learn and benefit from. It's important that their happiness is not neglected, so businesses need to take the time to invest in their staff at all levels."

He added: "Simple things like conducting regular performance reviews, offering new opportunities for learning and setting ambitious career goals are all steps that can ensure more tenured workers feel appreciated and that career goals don’t become static."

ALSO READ: Office design – the key to employee happiness

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