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Great post, Stephanie!

I would agree with you that experienced increases productivity - you work less but get more done because you know what you're doing. Over time this can turn into inflexbility and then it may be time for a change. If no new opportunity is available, you probably get less productive for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

Continuing to give development opportunities to more experieneced workers might also help alleviate the risk that they feel 'overqualified' and leave. . . why should better opportunities only exist elsewhere?

Yes. In the ancient world dominated by sweat-labor, productivity for most people would decline with advanced age due to physical limitations. In today's world of knowledge-work, the relationship is inverted and the seniors (unless ossified) are far more efficient/productive than the beginners. Youth and strength are no match for experience and treachery... or something like that.

Generalities like these are dangerous, though, because it is all job-related. Consider the Sandia Labs case where they cut wages for older engineers simply because the maturity curve data published by the Joint Council showed that olders earned less, implying they were worth less due to productivity limitations. (That employer was sued so often for age discrimination that I couldn't find the precise citation of that ~1972? case but did find an old article I wrote on this subject at http://www.salaryexpert.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blogs.main&ID=5468d0be-1855-475c-9e11-834f3322e047).

Today, after dealing with all the responses to my post of Monday, I don't want to hear the word, "overqualified."

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