Is 50 the New 70?

4798Too old for the job and time to make room for the younger generation? Jack Ma thinks so.
He's the CEO of Alibaba Group, the e-commerce conglomerate who said Tuesday he's stepping down from his post in May.

Jack Ma is not even a baby boomer. He's 48 years old. But he says he's feeling the strain of his job. "When I was 35, I was so energetic and fresh-thinking, I had nothing to worry about," Ma said in an interview.

In an email to employees, Ma said: "It's because I see that Alibaba's young people have better, more brilliant, dreams than mine, and they are more capable of building a future that belongs to them." (Read more: Why Women Don't Save for Retirement)

So this begs some questions: Are careers over much sooner these days than in the past? Is the younger generation--- Gen X--taking over? Or is it the even-younger Gen Y?

"Almost without fail, people in the 45-55 age range get to a place where they go through a professional midlife crisis," said Sharon Hulce, president and CEO of Employment Resource Group, a search firm.

"They say 'I've made money and done well and is this all there is?' They know that once they get to older age they are less marketable so they make a move," Hulce said, who is writing a book about career transitions. '

There could be many more execs joining Ma in his 'retirement.' A survey of executives in June of last year by search firm ExecuNet stated that many executives were just waiting for the economy to get better so they could retire. They cited stress as one of the main reasons for wanting to leave.

"More and more, professionals are feeling burnt out and discouraged, and are in turn leaving the workforce because they can't find any level of alignment between work and life," says Allison O'Kelly, founder and CEO of staffing firm Mom Corps. 


Source: CNBC | Mark Koba
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