Tonight, Thierry Henry should play for Arsenal again, maybe coming off the bench with 10 minutes left. That start to the blog post may have led to all none football fans clicking away, and it really is bad practice using football as a metaphor for everything, but the return of M. Henry got me thinking about how our skills and abilities change over our careers, and therefore how roles need to change too if we are to continue to perform well.
In a physical job, such as bricklaying or playing football, the ageing process is obvious, slowing us down, leading to longer recovery times, bringing in alternate techniques to minimise impact. Some footballers take to this well because they have developed compensatory skills, and use these with their added experience to make up for that lost speed.
But all of us need to be mindful of ageing and experience when managing our careers; it was widely reported last week that our brains are now thought to be slowing down in our 40’s (previously they thought it was our 50’s, and if I’m anything to go by, they’ll soon have evidence that it’s started by the late 30’s).
On the positive side, it’s also reported that our ability to see connections in data actually improves with age, so maybe our career development plans needs to take these things into account.
One thing’s for certain, Thierry can’t rely on pace to win a match for Arsenal, so he’d better hope that at 34 his brain’s sufficiently improved at seeing connections.