Career success is harder to achieve when you’re over this age

It’s never too late to try something new, but is it too late to find success in your career? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that ageism is still alive and well in the business world.

We have all known that people over a certain age are less likely to get hired for new positions.

A new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology reveals just how hard it is for people over 50 to reinvent their careers. 

The study looked at 917 participants between the ages of 14 and 77 to investigate the relationship between passion, grit, and mindset.

The researchers used an eight-item Passion Scale to assess passion, a Grit-S scale to assess grit, and a Theories of Intelligence Scale to measure mindset. 

While individuals over 53 may be passionate, they tend to lack the grit and mindset that the younger generations have.

The study’s findings sought to understand better the correlation between learning and achievement versus intrinsic motivation, well-being, and life satisfaction.

How much of this has to do with having a positive outlook on life, and how much your age determines it? 

So, you’re over 50 and looking for a new career… What do you need to do to overcome these disadvantages? 

The study found that all ages under 53 possessed higher levels of passion, grit, and positivity. These are all of the traits that businesses are going to look for when they’re hiring.

They want employees who can pull long hours to get projects done, go-getters, and be ready to lead from the front. All three of these skills seem to wane as people get older. 

In a press release, Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson in NTNU’s Department of Psychology said, “You have to work to find meaningful activities and interests that you can follow up with grit and willpower. Igniting the spark is important, regardless of age.” 

To combat these missing traits, individuals over 50 should focus on honing in on these skills. Take up a hobby that you’re passionate about, focus on positive affirmations, and learn sticktoitiveness. Keep your mind in working order. Work on puzzles, brainteasers, read books and try to learn something new every day. 

Keep active

We already know that daily walks can do wonders for your mental health, making sense that this kind of activity would help keep you passionate and motivated in life. Hold on to that spark for life! 

If you’re re-entering the workforce, you may also want to work on honing your electronic skills. For some reason, people under 35 are really good at adapting to new technology.

Maybe that has something to do with passion, regardless of why you’re going to need to stay on top of the latest trends and programs if you want to land that job. 

The bottom line 

As you get older, things are bound to get more difficult. Just because the study found that passion, grit, and positivity lessens as you get older doesn’t mean you should let it get you down. There are many ways for you to keep learning and to reinvite yourself through your twilight years. 

It’s never too late to learn a new skill, read a new book, or land a new job. Take the findings from NTNU’s study and adapt them to your own life.

If you feel like you have nothing to be passionate about, find something that sparks your creativity and fire. If you don’t feel positive, consider signing up for a yoga class or meeting with a therapist to help work on your life outlook. 

As Sigmundsson said in the press release. “‘Use it or lose it’ is the mantra, and this aligns with neuropsychology as well.”