Monday, February 19, 2007

Stages Of A Career

Job Goals for Every Age by shares a philosophy of how to think about one's career at different ages.

Here are the stages and my commentary.

Twenties: Establish a Positive Work Record

I agree that one should building a good reputation and a network of supporters and references. It is also a time to learn the difference between good work and exceptional work. Strive to do exceptional work at all times.

Thirties: Focus on being a leader

Yes and I would add to differentiate oneself from one's peers through one's business results. It is important to begin setting strategic direction and then delivering outstanding results from the strategy. Senior management will identify future leaders from this age group.

Forties: Re-examine your definition of success

I would re-title this as Forties: The glory years. The forties are typically when people are in leadership positions and these may the highest earning years. From a personal finance perspective, it may also the time when people have the most discretionary income and can achieve the most wealth accumulation.

Fifties: Envision your future

I would add a subtitle to this - Fifties: Envision the future and prepare for transition. The fifties will bring job responsibility changes, family changes, and possibly retirement. Life and work can be much different that previous decades. I ask myself, "What will I do when I retire?"

Sixties: Reap what you have sown

I would title this - Sixties: Reaping the rewards and reinventing yourself. If one has planned well, this phase is where one can enjoy the rewards of an outstanding career and choose what to do, whether it be to continue or be something new. Personally, I hope to get to this stage before my sixties :-)

Personally, I think of my life (and career) in three stages which overlap - Learning, Working, and Enrichment/Leisure. Learning covers from birth to the thirties. Working covers from the twenties to sixties. Enrichment/Leisure covers from the forties on. I'll write more about the three stages in a future post.

For more on Strategies and Plans , check back every Monday for a new segment.

Photo Credit:, Virginia Coccaro

This is not financial or career advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


makingourway said...

Odd, I always thought your 50s were the period where you had maximum income and minimal expenses (peak employment position), kids out of college, maybe?

Super Saver said...

Making Our Way,

Thanks for your comment and your points.

On income versus age, the data are mixed and are sometimes broken into different decades (e.g 45-50 versus 40s). In some cases, there is a slight decline in income (for some jobs); in other cases there is a slight increase when trying to compare the 40s and 50s.

A trend that I have observed at my company is that many people are retiring at 55, or earlier if allowed. In this instance, salary income is significantly reduced, but replaced by retirement income.

To your point, in re-reading the post, my perspective is stated stronger than the hard data supports. Based on your input, I have revised the statement on the forties to a less "definite" tone.

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