Interesting article talking about the divide between older and younger employees, and the fact that younger and more motivated employees tend to move around a lot.

The basic message is that people with ambitions don’t stay in one place for long. That seems true, but I am surprised it omits what I would regard as the most obvious supplementary reasons:

1. Age affects your sense of time. Young people get bored of jobs faster partly because for them time passes slower. My first job lasted 7 months and it felt like an eternity. Now, only a few years later, 7 months seems like quite a while, but definitely a finite timespan (I dread to think how short it’ll feel when I’m 40).

2. Younger people usually accumulate market value faster than their employer gives them pay rises, and hopping jobs every few years is an easy way to gain a substantial jump in salary. Since older people often express bafflement towards the idea of switching jobs frequently I guess that in the past companies used to review salaries more effectively, but now it seems like you are doing yourself a disservice by staying in one place for a long time because your employer is likely screwing you out of money. I have now been at my job for a bit over two years and the gap between what I’m earning and what I’m seeing in all the recruitment spam I receive is growing and growing. I expect to get a 5% increase next year, or a 30% increase by switching jobs. Hmm, tough choice.

3. Younger people are typically the ones actually producing the tangible work and older people tend to be in management (some generalising there). Bad management is more common than good and comes in many, many forms ranging from direct aggression to obstruction (obstructive managers who don’t know when to get out of the way are very common, probably because they mistakenly believe that their job is to produce emails rather than to deliver a project). The nature of the manager will determine the exact effect it has on you, but the end result is that you are more motivated to leave.


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