Understanding the career choices of older workers

Marjorie O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Purpose: The aim of this research is to understand the career choices of older workers. While there is significant research about retirement, there is a lack of literature and research in the area of older worker careers, in particular those who are continuing to work, rather than retire. This research seeks to not only understand the career choices that older workers are making around retirement, but also to expand and modernise theory in the area of late life careers which is currently inadequate. Design/methodology/approach: This research is taking a mutli-method approach consisting of two phases, a qualitative and quantitative phase of data collection. Findings: Preliminary results based upon more than 50 semi-structured interviews show that the motivation to work and non-linear career intentions are different between older and younger workers. Furthermore, changing life roles have a significant impact upon individual’s desire and ability to work, in particular the life role of child. Research limitations/implications: Currently theory in the area of late life careers is inadequate and does not explain the modern pheromone of a late life career. This research hopes to expand and modernise theory in this area allowing us to predict and explain behaviour. Practical and Social implications: Australia like much of the developed world is faced with an ageing population. If organisations wish to retain this talent they need to understand the changing needs of older worker.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-71
Number of pages2
JournalExpo 2011 Higher Degree Research : book of abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventHigher Degree Research Expo (7th : 2011) - Sydney
Duration: 10 Oct 201111 Oct 2011


  • late life careers


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