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OLDER WORKERS AND NEW CAREERS: challenges for older workers

OLDER WORKERS AND NEW CAREERS: challenges for older workers

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The existing literature of older workers and careers focuses on the challenges for older workers in maintaining employment in the new environment, revealing increased demands to adapt to an environment of uncertainty and decreased job or career security, compounded by age and discriminatory factors. The current career management literature proposes so far under-researched models of sustaining careers in this uncertain environment, including ideas of career resilience, protean career behaviours and career competencies. The findings of this study contributes to the literature a predominantly positive picture of employed older workers: despite exposure or restructuring,redundancies, organisational change and regional economic downturns in the 1990?s, most exhibit career behaviours and on going learning in ways that foster their progress and sustain their employment and their careers. Undertaken in a regional setting, themes emerge of detachment from traditional career concepts and practices, flexible patterns of employment, multiple job holding and self-employment. The effective practices of career management suggested by existing models are affirmed and extended.