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Older Workers Seek Supportive Employers Due to the Pandemic

They want companies that value employees during tough times, survey says

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The COVID-19 pandemic that put the national economy on pause for months has changed how many older office workers feel about their jobs, according to a new survey that found an increasing concern on having an employer who sticks with them in a volatile economic climate.

The survey of 1,000 office workers released by staffing service Robert Half found that 70 percent of workers 55 and older said they were more motivated to work for an organization that values its employees during unpredictable times, compared with 57 percent of workers ages 25 to 40 who feel that way and 64 percent of those 41 to 54.

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"It could be that they've lived through and seen much more throughout the spans of their careers and the challenges that have been thrown at them along the way,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, said via email. “The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we've seen before, but older workers may be feeling especially vulnerable, considering not only their careers, but more importantly, their health and well-being."

The survey found little interest among older workers in pursuing a career change. Only 14 percent of workers 55 and older say they want to pursue a more meaningful or fulfilling job as a result of the pandemic experience, compared to 40 percent of workers ages 25 to 40 and 18 percent of those 41 to 54.

"We've also found that as professionals gain more experience and become more specialized in their given fields, the more satisfied they become over time,” McDonald said.

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