Predictors of Success among Older Workers in New Jobs. Final Report
To examine older workers' general values toward work and their specific motivations when seeking a new job, a sample of 198 people aged 50 or older who had recently begun a new job were interviewed by telephone. A follow-up interview was conducted 4 months later (n=182). Regarding general work values, respondents ranked "feeling a sense of accomplishment" as their highest priority. Factor analysis of 16 work value items yielded 5 factors: material benefits, mental stimulation, job compatibility, flexibility, and social environment. The most important motivational value during pursuit of the new job was the desire to feel useful. Factor analysis of motivational items yielded two factors: material benefits/security and personal development/social. The follow-up interview revealed 75 percent of respondents were still at the same job. Being able to use previously developed skills, seeing the impact of one's work on the final product, having the freedom to decide what to do on the job, and not being too closely supervised all related to job persistence and work satisfaction among older workers. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed gender was the important predictor of persistence on the job, with women persisting more than men; worker independence was the most important predictor of job satisfaction and ability to use previously developed skills and abilities on the new job was the most important predictor of "fit" between job sought and job located. A major recommendation resulting from this research is for hirers to pay attention to the intrinsic (non-material) benefits of work as well as to the extrinsic (material) gains. Older workers are seeking a challenge and a sense of accomplishment. (Appendixes include 29 references, older worker referral materials, and interview schedules and instruments.) (YLB)
University of Southern Maine
Brady, E.M. (1989). Predictors of Success among Older Workers in New Jobs. Final Report. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine.