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3 Ways Living Longer Will Impact Your Career

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median age of the American workforce is 37.1 and it is expected to increase to 42.6 by 2022. You might be dreading the fact that you'll have to work even a day longer than you have to, but that shouldn't be the case. Here are three ways a longer life expectancy will impact your career, and why you should take advantage of the extra time you have in your career and in your lifetime.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median age of the American workforce is 37.1 and it is expected to increase to 42.6 by 2022. You might be dreading the fact that you’ll have to work even a day longer than you have to, but that shouldn’t be the case. Here are three ways a longer life expectancy will impact your career, and why you should take advantage of the extra time you have in your career and in your lifetime.

Live long and prosper

(Photo Credit: Jim Bauer/Flickr)

1. Multiple Careers

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The good thing about living a longer life is that you have more time to figure out what career suits you best. Studies show that most Americans are miserable with their jobs and tend to choose occupations for all the wrong reasons. With a longer life expectancy, workers won’t feel so hard-pressed to find the perfect career the first time around. We’re not encouraging job hopping for no reason, by any means, but we are fans of professionals finding careers that are meaningful and fulfilling.

2. Longer Lifespan = Longer Careers

A recent study conducted by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) found that 82 percent of the study’s participants who made a career change after the age of 45 were successful in their transition, with many reporting that they were happier in their new positions and earning more than they did prior. The idea of working longer may not seem so hot right now, but it’s not like you’ll be the only one working past “retirement” (if there will be such a thing for future generations). Longer life expectancies will allow more time for aging workers to pull in a decent paycheck, stay active physically and mentally, save up money, and then travel the world later on in life. Seems like a sweet deal to us.

3. Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Growing older might be a scary thing, but if you choose a fulfilling career and have an enjoyable life, then growing into retirement will be an enjoyable phase of your life.

“Research suggests that happiness over the course of our lives is U-shaped, with our satisfaction deteriorating through our 20s and 30s, hitting bottom in our 40s and then bouncing back from there,” writes Jonathan Clements at The Wall Street Journal.

Therefore, your career prime will be your “bouncing back” days after 40 years of age, so take advantage of that fact and utilize your early employment years to learn, mature, and expand your skills.

Hopefully you find some comfort in knowing that you have a bit more time to figure your career out and that you don’t have to get it right the first time. The important thing to remember is that, because you’ll be working longer, the key to success (and happiness) is finding a career that makes you happy and is enjoyable. Don’t do yourself in by staying in a dead-end career, because it’ll be a long, hellish road if you choose to keep your misery company.

Tell Us What You Think

How do you feel about living longer and working longer? Share your insight with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below. 

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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