Title page for ETD etd-03262003-083517

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Ulrich, Lorene Burns
Author's Email Address lulrich@vt.edu
URN etd-03262003-083517
Title Older Workers and Bridge Employment: An Exploratory Study
Degree PhD
Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Fortune, Jimmie C. Committee Co-Chair
Hohenshil, Thomas H. Committee Co-Chair
Brott, Pamelia E. Committee Member
Conrad, Dale Committee Member
Roberto, Karen A. Committee Member
  • bridge jobs
  • older workers
  • late career
  • retirement
  • grounded theory
Date of Defense 2003-03-20
Availability unrestricted
Ulrich Abstract

Using grounded theory methodology, the purpose of the study was to examine the transition experiences of older workers who retired from their long-term careers and who were working in bridge jobs. After interviewing 24 participants, a theory emerged that describes the decision to seek a bridge job, the strategies used, the problems faced, and the benefits received. The decision to retire is connected with the decision to seek a bridge job. Participants planned but mainly focused on their finances; no participant sought help from a career counseling professional. They faced challenges such as age discrimination and problems switching to a new position. Participants reported that they live a more balanced life and enjoy their bridge job. The core theme from the study is bridge employment redefines retirement.

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