Real Career Success Might Not Come Until Your 30s, Study Suggests

    Upon entering the workforce, many young professionals feel pressure to instantly succeed and establish themselves in their fields by the age of 30. While some 20-somethings make it happen, using talent, connections, and /or luck to achieve security right away, others struggle, and that can lead to frustration and disappointment. But it shouldn’t — not according to a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

    Researchers from the NBER looked at Nobel prize winners and innovative scientists from the 20th century, and they found that one’s 20s aren’t always the most productive or creative years.

    “For both samples, we see that the, scientific or technological breakthroughs most typically come in the late 30s,” the paper reads. “At the same time, a number of scientists make pioneering contributions before reaching 30 or in their 60s and beyond.”

    There are many reasons this might be true for today’s scientists, who need to learn far more than their predecessors in other eras, but what about other types of workers? As Black Enterprise posits, 30-somethings have been around longer, and they’ve amassed know-how and skills their younger counterparts simply don’t have.

    “Time holds a factor in that experience and knowledge increases, allowing for more dynamic strides in one’s career,” writes Janell Hazelwood.