Article

Older workers and occupational identity in the telecommunications industry: Navigating employment transitions through the life course

Citation

Mackenzie R & Marks A (2019) Older workers and occupational identity in the telecommunications industry: Navigating employment transitions through the life course. Work, Employment and Society, 33 (1), pp. 39-55. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017018760212

Abstract
The article examines the relationship between restructuring and work-based identity among older workers, exploring occupational identity, occupational community and their roles in navigating transitions in the life course. Based on working-life biographical interviews with late career and retired telecoms engineers, the article explores the role of occupational identity in dealing with change prior to and following the end of careers at BT, the UK’s national telecommunications provider. Restructuring and perpetual organizational change undermined key aspects of the engineering occupational identity, inspiring many to seek alternative employment outside BT. For older workers, some seeking bridge employment in the transition to retirement, the occupational community not only served as a mechanism for finding work but also provided a sustained collective identity resource. Distinctively, the research points to a dialectical relationship between occupational identity and the navigation of change as opposed to the former simply facilitating the latter

Keywords
bridge employment; identity; life course; occupation; occupational community; occupational identity; older workers; organizational identity; retirement

Journal
Work, Employment and Society: Volume 33, Issue 1

StatusPublished
FundersHeriot-Watt University
Publication date01/02/2019
Publication date online06/04/2018
Date accepted by journal31/12/2017
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/28484
ISSN0950-0170