Work and Retirement Health Concerns in Adult Development Aging can play a huge role on the health of an individual. Most importantly, it can define what path someone will take as they move through their adult development. Vocational counselors try to match people with jobs that would “fit” their interests. However, in today’s economy there are many people taking jobs to make ends meet and not for the interest of doing it. How does this affect our development and what impact does this play on our health?
There are points of interests that psychologists have studied, analyzed and evaluated to help us determine the healthy and unhealthy aspects of aging as it relates to work and retirement. As we develop, we seek to establish ourselves in society. There are many things that need to occur for us to do this. As we age, we find work or careers that guide us into new areas in our life journey. The process of work and growing come with some burden for some and satisfactions for others. Most importantly, “out jobs provide a good deal of our identity and self-esteem. (Bjorklund & Bee, 2008) I agree that our identities are part of our jobs or careers. Donald Super was a vocational psychologist that developed a theory called “life span/life space theory”. He proposed that we developed through five stages as we move through life and our career. This is a great theory to describe what impacts us as we move through our life span. I would argue that the third and fourth stage play the most heavily on our health as we age. These stages are the establishment stage (25-44 yrs. ) and the maintenance stage (45-65 yrs. in which our current status and jobs are involved with the rest of our social lives. As we establish careers, we try to stabilize, consolidate and advance in our jobs. This brings pressures in the work place alone that can trickle into the personal life. While in maintenance, holding the job while trying to innovate and update tasks are important. At this time I can see that there would be some stressors that would make one concerned if they cannot keep up with new technology and stay on top of their game. This older part of the career adds to the physiological stressors that our bodies go through as we age.
The bottom line with these phases is that we need to “consider the relative importance of school, work, home, family, community, and leisure. ” (Bjorklund & Bee, 2008) Stressful jobs can influence our personalities that we take into other aspects of our lives. Long work hours will play heavily on family and leisure parts of life. This can signal how ones identity is in their personal life and can be quite unhealthy as we grow older. The healthy portion to this is if you have a job that you enjoy and it gives you the right amount time for other parts of your life to influence a positive lifestyles and personality.
Establishment and maintenance in career development is easier accomplished when there is job satisfaction. As we move past career development our physiological, psychological and other stressors can force one into retirement or make one decide when the time is right to retire. Most careers will go to the extent of thirty plus years and many others at around twenty. The benefits in post career life seem to determine this for many. Others may have had an injury or breakdown that lead to their early or mandatory retirement.
We have to consider preparation, timing, and reasons so that post career life can be a healthy and developmental experience. “Many adults prepare for retirement beginning perhaps as early as 15 to 20 years ahead. ” (Bjorklund & Bee, 2008) With this in mind, timing comes next in the plan. As we consider our personal lives, we may talk with spouses and determine the best time for retirement and how to start saving or investing for the moment. Timing can be uneventful or just right. Some retire because estimated finances are sufficient enough or they fall victim to health issues or family issues.
Others may have a change of commitment to their career. In the end, the timing and reasons interplay with each other to bring us to a decision. The text states that “for most adults, retirement itself has remarkably few effects on income, health, activity, or attitudes. ” (Bjorklund & Bee, 2008) This tells us that is the probably a significant impact of an event that may force us into the rational of when to retire. The impact of being laid off or forced retirement due to disability may impact our health and psychological well being before the fact of retiring does.
I would argue that our health in retirement is heavily dependent upon our capabilities to continue enjoy our lifestyles without a sharp degree of change. A traumatic event would play more damaging to our well being than moving on into post career life. The text presents agreeable theories that have been used to better define how we develop our psychosocial skills through work and retirement. All theories present factors that can have healthy or unhealthy influences on our lives. References Bjorklund, B. , & Bee, H. L. (2008) The Journey of Adulthood, 6th Edition, Pearson Education, Inc. , pages 200-234.
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