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Late Bloomer: 3 Tips for a Late Bloomer Career

In English, late bloomer is someone who goes through a comparatively late development. School, Abitur, university degree, manager - and all of this preferably before 35. Or founding a company under the age of 30. The bar for what people should have achieved by a certain age is always higher. Those who do not meet this ideal are rated accordingly. But is that true? Is a career at an advanced age excluded? We are investigating this question ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

What is a late bloomer?

The English term late bloomer is often translated as late bloomer in German. What is meant is a person whose skills or talents only show up later than would be expected. This is how a child's development can be observed by measuring progress based on physical, intellectual, and social skills. What is noticeable: there is a positive attitude in the Anglophone sector. This can already be seen in a comparison of the two terms. Late bloomers flower late, but then reach full splendor and development. In the case of "late bloomers", the negative component predominates. Someone who does not understand things so quickly, who only recognizes connections late. Another German synonym would be for those who came later.

The clearly more positive connotation Late Bloomer is by no means naive: Many prominent personalities struggled with difficulties in their early years, so that one would certainly not have expected them to be a great success. Wrongly. Albert Einstein, the discoverer of the theory of relativity, suffered from language difficulties in early childhood. Actor Tom Cruise and Virgin mogul Richard Branson are dyslexic. Those affected by this learning disability are often assumed to be slow in thinking. In any case, it does not prevent them from being successful.

Maximum salary in the early 50s

Do you want to earn a lot of money? Then hurry up! According to a Stepstone study (250,000 records), most people reach their maximum salary by the age of 52. Average of 58,539 euros. After that, dependent employees hardly earn any more. The salary is more likely to fall because those affected take less time to work or look for less responsible jobs and positions (keyword: downshifting). The largest salary increases are made between the ages of 30 and 40. From the mid-50s, most options are exhausted.

Changes part of the professional biography

A clear definition of what a late bloomer is and when a person falls into this category is still unclear. Does someone have to pursue a career in the same industry that he or she started in? Is it really just about a job change or rather the feeling that comes with it? Career changes are much more common these days than they were 40 or 50 years ago. At that time it was common to complete an apprenticeship or study and to practice this profession until retirement. Employees did not have to change careers until the company filed for bankruptcy.

Nowadays the demands on workers are much higher: Rapid technical progress requires constant adaptation. Jobs are no longer as secure as they used to be. But the bond with the company is also lower. Many employees don't just want a good salary, they want a job that fulfills them.

These characteristics distinguish late bloomers

Fluid intelligence declines with increasing age (already in the mid-twenties). She is responsible for logical and abstract thinking. The speed of learning is not entirely irrelevant. That all of this subsides leads some to think that outstanding performance is only possible at a young age. Another fact is often not taken into account: crystalline intelligence increases. It is characterized by experience, including general knowledge and knowledge of human nature. Research shows that many cognitive skills only develop at an advanced age. Above all, it is about those who are needed for company and team management.

But not only that. According to Rich Karlgaard, editor of Forbes magazine and a late bloomer himself, late-career professionals are by no means less gifted. He sees numerous skills. According to this, late bloomers have the following characteristics:

Late bloomers are more likely to have an image problem as they fall short of the expectations of others. When they start their careers, they surprise all those who did not trust them. Instead of fulfilling the expectations of others at all costs, they go their own way at their own pace.

Pressure from prominent role models

Sometimes the pressure comes from prominent role models who were successful even at a young age. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are just two typical examples. But the economy and institutions have also worked in recent years to ensure that people get into working life earlier and earlier. The shortening of the upper level (partially withdrawn) and the conversion of the university degrees to Bachelor and Master have made a decisive contribution to this. If you start working early, you should also have an early career. The majority of those who achieve outstanding results are significantly older.

Studies show that who, for example, have examined the relationship between age and successful business start-ups. The decisive factor was whether a founder succeeded in selling his start-up to a corporation. This sale, known as an exit, is an indicator of success. The results of the economist Pierre Azoulay and his team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are clear: Only a few founders under 25 succeed. The chances increase in the age group of 25 to 35 year olds. The late bloomers with an age of 35 and up clearly predominate here.

And the researchers made another interesting observation: looking at particularly fast-growing start-ups, they found that their founders were already in their mid-40s on average. This confirms what Karlgaard describes in his book “Late Bloomer”: It takes life experience to develop certain skills and master challenging situations. Anyone who has experienced defeat usually knows which things don't work.

3 tips on how to become a late bloomer

Those who end their training or studies early, work hard and get a well-paying job seem to have made it. A feeling of satisfaction does not always set in. Burnout occurs with quite a few young employees. No wonder if you work 60 or 70 hours a week. But that's exactly what ambitious young managers are often asked to do. Once at the top, many get a quarter-life crisis: Is that supposed to be it already?

But life has a lot more to offer. The prerequisite for this, however, is that you give yourself enough time to track down your own inclinations. This should not be misunderstood as a call to inactivity: You cannot discover your own potential from the couch or even while sleeping. But it is a process that does not end automatically with a certain completion. Just as flowers usually bloom for several years and not just once, you always have the chance as a late bloomer to find your talent and pursue your passion. In addition, these three tips:

Find something that makes sense to you

To really blossom as a late bloomer, consider what activities you have the most fun doing. What is going well for you, what would you spend much longer doing if you had enough time? Hobbies or activities in social engagement provide the first clues.

Specify your ideas

It is not just the job as such that has an impact on satisfaction. Because it is also clear: Every job has boring parts, contains routine tasks that are bothersome but important. However, the environment plays a decisive role: Which corporate culture is important to you, how do you imagine the specific work situation, how important are salary and vacation?

Leave your comfort zone

Is there a lack of life experience? Something can be done about it. You gain experience when you leave your comfort zone. By doing internships in areas you haven't had on your radar before. Or learn a new foreign language. Trying things that don't just happen to you. People grow from such tasks.

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