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Are we now part of the Experience Economy – if not, should we be?

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

50 plus career experience economy image

I wrote a piece some time ago about how I believe we are now working within the Relationship Economy, but should we also be thinking of it as the Experience Economy?

It is recognised and accepted that as a country we have an ageing population, and an ageing workforce. With the increase in state pension age people are having to work for longer, and in a recent survey of people aged 55, many said that they fully expected to work in some way to work until the age of 70, whether through necessity, personal interest, or to supplement  their pensions to pay for life’s luxuries.

A pool of experience

So with all this in mind there is an incredible pool of experience available to employers. A pool of people who have effectively been there, seen it, done it. A pool of people who have decades to accumulate knowledge and skills. A pool of people who know what its like to work in both boom and bust economic times. A pool of people who have lived through more change in the workplace than any other generation before them. There is a wealth of experience to be drawn upon . And with an ageing population controlling more disposable funds than their younger counterparts, a pool of experience with more understanding of the needs and spending habits of an ageing population than anyone.  So why are so few employers recognising the value an ‘older’ worker has to offer?

Thrive with change

As older workers we have proved that we can adapt and thrive with change. We have shown that we have the ability to learn new skills and new technologies. We have demonstrated  our work ethic and industry knowledge. We have skills and industry knowledge in so many areas and industries.  Who would not want to benefit from this in their organisation? Who would not want to utilise this vast experience and knowledge base now, and ensure that  it is shared with others who can build upon it in the future.

Rather than out with the old, in with the new, look to retain and retain the old to share with the new. The benefits would be countless in what could be the Experience Economy.


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Deborah Friedland

    March 6, 2017

    I am searching for a job, I have 30 odd years experience in educational publishing and teaching and cannot even get an interview anymore in spite of a reasonably impressive CV. To find your career has run into the sand in your late 50s, purely on the grounds of age, yet be expected to keep working another ten years because of the rise in the pension age is depressing, to say the least. Young people in HR seem to be very ageist but there’s no way to prove it obviously!

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      March 6, 2017

      It is a massive issue Deborah, and one that needs to addressed at many levels, as you say there is no way of proving ageism. There are a lot of articles on the site with tips for job seekers ( my background is headhunting so I tend to write those myself – and was an ‘expert’ on a project the Times did a while ago with job seekers in their 50s to see if we could help get them on track). Have you looked through those at all?

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