Why does Happiness at work usually dips Mid Career?

Posted on July 10, 2014

Photo: flickr

If you're in or not far from your thirties, you're part of the age group that previous research shows is most likely to experience lower workplace wellbeing. A new study suggests the reasons for this midlife dip: a double whammy of more demands on time and less support from co-workers.

Why does this happen? Further analysis showed that participants’ reports of support from their co-workers underwent the same mid-life dip as job satisfaction, and the experience of time pressure at work displayed the same mid-life hump as emotional exhaustion.

Support from co-workers probably dips in midlife as peers compete for scarce resources (promotion bottlenecks are often encountered during this career stage). Also, whereas younger counterparts are often hungry to forge new social networks, and older workers seek identity-affirming work experiences in their remaining tenure, midlifers find it demanding enough just to maintain existing social networks. Meanwhile, time pressure likely intensifies mid-career as colleagues try to leverage one's knowledge and experience.

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Category(s):Workplace Issues

Source material from British Psychological Society

Mental Health News