Some statistics to think on

Working women 
Picked up a copy of More, our favourite American over 40s mag while in New York. More does a great little page of statistics about older women, this month they were pretty interesting as the mag had commissioned research on American working older women (it interviewed 501 women between 40 and 60 yrs), here's what it found out….

  • The happiest working women who didn't want to swap their jobs were teachers.
  • Women in their 40s value a flexible working schedule more than women in their 50s.
  • 75% of older working women say salary has become a bigger deal recently as they consider their futures.
  • Women in their 40s are more likely to want to be entrepreneurs than women in their 50s.
  • And women in their 40s are more likely to consider going back to school, whereas the over 50s are less enthusiastic about extra learning.
  • 63% of high earners consider a job you are passionate about is more rewarding than a high pay check
  • 70% of the women interviewed had been working for 20 years or more and only 1% had never held a job.

At a quick glance the figures seem to suggest that if you want to learn a new trade or invent a money making new product, best to get on with it, as motivation clearly drops off as you enter your 50s. And maybe a high salary is not everything. Anyone who chose teaching can give themselves a pat on the back, although I have to say that some of the teachers I know have a jolly tough time (mostly with hideous parents).

Do we stop wanting to learn after we hit 50? We don't think so, but we do know that energy levels start to flag, although enthusiasm does not, so perhaps we just need to pace ourselves. One reassuring thing the research discovered was that mid life career changers tend to shoot up the ladder, their passion and enthusiasm for their new roles turns quickly to promotion. Knowledge, maturity and life experiences are transferable skills and if you take advantage of them, you'll advance more quickly.

So if you are on the brink of returning to work after having kids, or have reached the middle of your working career and are thinking 'Am I going to do this forever?', remember that you've done such a lot already, a change or a new challange can't be that difficult compared to what you've already achieved.

And we read today on WGSN, the fashion trend forcasting site that the fastest growing demographic of new users on Facebook was women over 55. So clearly we are enthusiastic about learning some things.

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