- What We Do
Geoff is one of the longest-serving staff members at JobWatch, and a consistently empathetic voice on our Telephone Information Service for thousands of callers every year. And like this article in The Age states, he's one of many older workers who choose to continue working later in life.
February 23, 2023
Geoff Charles is nearly 76, but retirement is not on his radar.
He works three days a week as a phone consultant for JobWatch, fielding calls from employees who have lost jobs or face other workplace rights issues.
Work has been a defining part of Charles’ life since he was 19, when he began working in industrial relations.
“I just can’t imagine stopping work,” he said. “The days flash past, it keeps you really busy and you feel involved. That’s what a lot of older Australians need.”
Charles considered retiring once he hit his late 50s. He quit his job in industrial relations, but it wasn’t long before he began rethinking things.
“I got bored stiff. I’m not a golfer, so I wouldn’t spend all my time playing golf,” he said. “I thought, this is ridiculous, I’ve got to do something … You miss being involved.”
JobWatch executive director Zana Bytheway said that although older workers had an enormous amount to offer, they still faced barriers in the workplace, including age discrimination.
“If we look at the main problems faced by older workers, it’s still about a lack of promotion because often employers don’t want to invest in them,” Bytheway said. “Older workers cop it on the chin, they self-assess, they say, ‘I should get out and make room for younger people’. There is a guilt factor meaning they often don’t complain about discrimination.”