Why do we hate our jobs most when we reach 35?

What do you think?

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

With more and more millennials moving abroad, attracted to these affordable European cities that offer more job prospects and a better work-life balance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re the unhappiest generation when it comes to the workplace. However, a recent study shows that Generation X hate their jobs a lot more than their younger co-workers.

Research by Happiness Works on behalf of recruitment company Robert Half showed that once we get to thirty five years old, enthusiasm for our jobs starts to noticeably wane. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, one in ten 18-34 year olds were unhappy with their job, compared to one in six of the participants aged 35 and over.

It’s suggested that the decline in job satisfaction is a result of climbing the career ladder, as we move into more high pressure roles at senior levels. The added stress, combined with the fact that at this age many people are trying to simultaneously balance family life and relationships, is supposedly what leaves over thirty fives hating their jobs.

job interview

Credit: REX

To make things worse, those over 55 admitted that they didn’t feel appreciated or valued at work and that they didn’t have any friends.

While it’s true that perfecting a successful work-life balance gets increasingly difficult as we get older, it is surprising that the younger categories dislike their jobs far less than older generations. Why? It’s common knowledge that millennials are struggling when it comes to finding work – the oversaturated job market, the rise of the zero-hour contract, a lack of paid opportunities for graduates seeking work experience – and, understandably, it doesn’t sound like a recipe for enthusiastic members of the workplace.

With flexible working becoming more commonplace, and individuals ditching traditional pathways for blended careers, will the 35-year-olds of the future experience a higher level of job satisfaction?

Let’s hope so – the millennials are due a break.

Reading now

Popular Life stories