The Art of Contributing Throughout Your Career


The prime of a career is different for everyone. If your prime is when you can have a significant impact and contribute – age isn’t the main factor.

Yet, conventional wisdom is that the mid-30s to the early 50s is the sweet spot—the perfect mix of ambition and motivation with accumulated expertise and experience. As people move into their late 50s or 60s, some may question their relevancy and value by assuming they aren’t up on the latest or have the same career commitment they once did. Meanwhile, many later in their careers feel they can do more, learn more, and contribute more. Making a meaningful contribution is not based on age or stage in your career.

Many organizations have a wealth of knowledge and expertise they can better utilize – if they recognize the seasoned talent right at their fingertips. If you are one of those seasoned professionals, here are ideas for contributing and if you aren’t in this stage of life yet – here is how you can take advantage of this seasoned talent. The four profiles are:

    • C-Suite/Business Owners
    • Those early in their career
    • New leaders
    • Seasoned professionals

A few closing notes for each profile…

C-Suite and Owners: It’s important to create a culture that values and respects the contributions of seasoned workers. It’s an essential element of diversity and inclusion. By leveraging their experience and valuing their expertise, you can create a collaborative and inclusive work environment that benefits both the organization and its employees.

Those early in their careers: Building relationships with more experienced professionals takes time and effort, but their knowledge and guidance can be invaluable for your career growth and development. Their experience may give you a new way to think about your situation, new ideas for approaching a problem, or tips for building relationships.

New leaders: Embrace the opportunity to tap into seasoned professionals’ expertise, experiences, and insights. Their experience can help you accelerate your career by learning to solve problems and lead challenging projects. Incorporate their lessons learned into your leadership style and work.

Seasoned professionals: Your experience, expertise, and unique perspective can contribute significantly, regardless of the stage of your career. Recognize your value and let that fuel your continued growth and contribution!

Remember the wealth of knowledge and insights in your more experienced talent ready to be tapped. It’s time to take a fresh look and redefine when someone is in the “prime of their career.”


Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at