Mature workers are remaining in the workforce or deciding to return to work after retirement. ACCELL’s doctoral researcher Jennifer Luke is investigating the post-retirement work of members of the community. This PhD research project is an exploration of individuals’ motivations and career adaptability. How do these valuable members of society regenerate their experience and skills for a multi-generational workforce?
Mature Workers Discover More Options
Recently, Jennifer presented a workshop at the “Career Check Up Expo for Mature Workers” in Ballina, NSW. The Expo is an initiative of the IRT Foundation in partnership with the NSW Government, and endorsed by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The Expo included presentations and practical workshops by organisations such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, The Benevolent Society, and Centrelink. The expo was supported by The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO (AHRC Age Discrimination Commissioner), pictured below with Jennifer.
It was fantastic to have ACCELL represented by Jennifer who delivered a workshop on “Recognising your Value and Experience – How to Become Adaptable in Today’s Workforce”. When not presenting, Jennifer was volunteering as a member of the career advisory team which provided one-on-one career discussions with local mature-age people who attended the Expo.
“The paradox is that ageing is not about decline, it’s about growth. Ageing creates opportunities and mature workers are not burdens. They are valuable contributors with experience and knowledge to give.”
Paradoxical Psychology of Working After Retirement
The current PhD research project extends upon earlier findings that revealed career adaptability within retirees. Jennifer interviewed retirees to explore their interest and motivations for working after retirement. Some of the retirees were aged in their late 70s and had not worked for more than 15 years. But, they were all keen to go back to work and not for the money. Their motivations were more to do with their adaptability. In June this year, Jennifer will share new findings of her research project at the conference of the Society of Vocational Psychology in the USA. Jennifer is planning collaborations with the Expo’s exhibitors, and other career development professionals and researchers who share common goals regarding the positive future of ageing and working.
For further information about this research project: Jennifer.Luke@usq.edu.au
A full copy of the previous research report is available online: Luke, J., McIlveen, P., & Perera, H. N. (2016). A thematic analysis of career adaptability in retirees who return to work. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00193