What's the most important life lesson that older people feel you must know? Do not stay in a job you dislike. Eric Barker has summarised the work of Karl Pillemer from Cornell University, who interviewed almost 1500 people aged over 70 for his book 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans. Pillemer found that the interviewees were more adamant about this single piece of advice than anything else.
Alongside this defining life lesson, they also talked of the importance of not choosing a career solely for the financial rewards, being persistent about looking for a job that makes you happy, and how critical autonomy is to career satisfaction. All rather redolent of Dan Pink's maxim about how motivation is powered by autonomy, mastery and purpose, which rather exposes the mismatch between what science already knows and what business actually does. It's something I refer to a lot.