An article by Harvard Business Review explains how women’s career trajectories can be a model for an aging workforce.
Careers are often depicted as having two phases: a steady climb upward towards commercial success, fame and power, which is then capped by a period of continuing effort dedicated to service to others. Case in point: David Brooks wrote a recent book about later life, called The Second Mountain, in which he describes the turn toward others and giving back that comes after the ego-driven, me-focused phase of first adulthood. Especially as life spans and careers get longer, this shape is codified in prestigious programs like Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, or Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute, which offer 60 year olds a year to pivot from profit to purpose. We now accept this pattern as the norm.