Mature 35-plus without growth prospects, a worrying group

7 July 2023

Growth, growth, growth. All those talent managers, chief happiness officers in front and the entire army of coaches behind them talk about nothing else: growth. As if there will never be a limit to it, this growth.

I took a look at whether these growth opportunities can be quantified. Important, if we don't want to present employees with a wash. That every knowledge worker starts thinking that becoming a manager of a big company or important field is a matter of sitting out. And that only bricklayers and pavers realise that they will retire as bricklayers or pavers if their backs do not give out prematurely.

OK, for the thread with it. What do the figures show?

I won't be far wrong if I say that, counting the healthcare and education sectors for a moment, about 15 per cent of employees are not functioning at their best at the level for which they were trained. Again 15 per cent, and I do have that figure exactly, grow in their learning path to the level of exceptionally accomplished. Finally, another 15 per cent take a step sideways or diagonally upwards where a more complex learning path is positioned.

Remains 55 per cent, or let us say a proportion that varies between 50 and 60 per cent, sitting somewhere between junior and accomplished and around the 35ste year of life shows signs of saturation, boredom or, if you like, decay.

In other words, if I were to focus my energy on anything, it would be on that last group: accomplished 35-plussers, who - in their own words - still have so very long 'to go', without any growth prospects. Let those change jobs soon, before time has caught up with them.

Work them, Rolf Baarda

Get in touch