Redirection: Work and Later Life Career Development

Funded by the CERIC, Redirection: Work and Later Life Career Development Project is a study focused on older workers. This project is led by Suzanne L. Cook (York University), Principal Investigator.

Research indicates a trend towards delayed retirement and an increase in the employment rate of people age 55 and over. From 1997 to 2010, the employment rate of men 55 and over increased from 30.5% to 39.4%. During the same time, the rate for women grew from 15.8% to 28.6% (Carrière & Galarneau, 2011).

Older workers are an invaluable human capital resource, yet they tend to be neglected. At the same time, there is a radical shift surrounding later life work and an expansion of working lives. The reimagining of “retirement,” the aging population in Canada and the continued participation of older adults in the labour force into their 50s, 60s and beyond the current average age of retirement – all of these factors have led to unprecedented changes around work. Later life career development has never been more important.

This research project will examine the experiences of older workers (age 50 and older) in Canada as they seek out new employment through second or third careers. In addition, this project will investigate the ways that career services practitioners work with older adults. An outcome of this project is to suggest the best approaches, tools and resources for working with older adults and thereby enhance the career development field.

Documentary film is NOW available!

Companion Guide

Redirection Companion Guide
Redirection Companion Guide
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Last UpdatedMarch 7, 2017
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Project Goals

  • Investigate later life work and career development from the perspectives of career practitioners and older workers themselves.
  • Create greater awareness of later life career development.

Project Objectives

  • Explore the experiences of older workers seeking work and those who have found work.
  • Examine the ways career services practitioners work with older adults.
  • Identify best practices for working with older workers on career development issues.
  • Make recommendations to assist career practitioners with later life career development of older adults.
  • The development of innovative communication methods for sharing the knowledge gained from this study.

Project Timeline: August 2015 to July 2016

Project Dissemination

The project will incorporate several novel approaches to capture and share its findings. including:

  • A story contest will make use of social media to convey how older adults are transitioning to later life work.
  • A free 22-minute educational documentary film about the research results, featuring older adults and their later life career stories, is also being produced. View the film trailer.

Final Report – Learn about the experience of the project partner in delivering this project with key findings and insights.

For more information, or to participate in this study, please contact Dr Cook at cooks@yorku.ca.