Monthly Message from the Work-Life Director
April Greetings from the Director
Understanding the Workplace Experience According to Age, Generation and Career Stage
What factors influence our workplace experience? In 2007-08, the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences participated in a study conducted by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College that examined workers’ perceptions of their experiences in terms of age, generation, career stage, life stage and job tenure. UK was one of nine national organizations that participated. Several interesting findings emerge, suggesting that our work experiences are based on a multiple factors. Highlights from the study include:
- Perceptions of career stage are no longer bound by chronicle age. Rather those who define themselves as early-career stage ranged in chronological age from 17-61 years; mid-career from 22-62 and late-career from 28-81 years!
- Workers age 35 and younger are less likely to say their work is full of meaning and purpose than workers ages 43 and older.
- Workers who have eldercare responsibilities (but no child care) feel less secure in their jobs than those who have child care responsibilities (but no elder care).
- Generations Y’ers/Millennials (age 26 or younger) experience less work overload than Generation X’ers or Baby Boomers.
- Employees who identify themselves at mid-career feel they have greater access to flexible work options than early-careers.
- Workers who are “sandwiched” between child and eldercare are less likely to feel included in their work groups than those who are just providing child care and those with no dependent care.
Based on these findings, our personal situations affect our work place experience. Personal responsibilities, such as dependent care and professional development, play instrumental roles in how we experience our work - such as the extent to which we may feel overloaded with work or engaged in our work units. Consequently, organizations wishing to be effective must better understand how the personal enters into the workplace; more progressive organizations will offer creative solutions to embrace our Work+Life realities.
- The Age & Generations Study: A Customized Report for the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences Executive Summary
- The Age & Generations Study: A Customized Report for the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences
- Age & Generations Study, University of Kentucky, Executive Summary, Time One Findings