As per LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2020, the respondents believe that their age negatively impacts their pursuit of job-related opportunities such as being able to secure a more stable job, being able to change to a new career path and when aiming to find a job that treats them equally. This is most relevant to Boomers (43 percent), followed by Gen X (27 percent).
For Gen Z’s(25%), it is the lack of work experience that turns out to be an opportunity gap. It is the number 1 opportunity gap they are dealing with as they feel that it affects job security, prevents them from pursuing their passions, and impedes them from finding a job that treats them as an equal. This is also true, to a smaller extent, for Millennials (16%).
“Age continues to be one of the main opportunity gaps,” reiterates Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). “This is something real as labour market statistics also suggests mature workers, especially mature PMEs, are most vulnerable whether in the area of retrenchment or when re-entering the workforce after job loss/unemployment.”
The report also highlighted other opportunity gaps like financial status, difficult job market, lack of confidence, and lack of time were also identified. Globally, respondents feel most held back by their own financial status (24%).
Amidst all opportunities gap, workforce across all ages is ready to work hard and adopt to new changes the future of work might bring with it.
The report shows that contrary to popular belief, people are not resistant to change, regardless of age. While working hard (81%) tops the list of what people perceive it takes to get ahead in life, a willingness to embrace change (80%) comes in a close second. People recognize that they have to work hard, adopt a growth mindset and embrace lifelong learning as the economic landscape and job market evolves.
As Tay suggests it is crucial for both businesses and mature PMEs to take continuous efforts to stay ready (with new skills), relevant (to new jobs) and resilient (to cyclical forces) amidst the changing nature of work, workforce and workplaces.
'Diversity of Age' is also now an element for HR leaders to look at when they are designing their diversity and inclusion strategy. Beyond gender, they also have to look at addressing needs like wellness, career growth and learning and development for employees of all ages and create more inclusive talent strategies.