Heresy you say? As the publisher of the career site for the older workforce how can I make such a statement? Promoting the idea that “the older workforce is the most underutilized talent pool in the nation” does not correlate with this statement. Have I gone bonkers in this advanced age? Perhaps, but it is true.
Let me continue this distorted thought process. Employers should not hire younger or new grad workers. Ok, now that we’ve eliminated nearly two thirds of the country’s workforce just who should employers hire?
As my memory serves me (sometimes it doesn’t) two or three years ago BusinessWeek published an issue that focused on individuals working past the typical retirement age. Note, this was before the current economic/employment crisis, not the times we are in today with retirement a fading option for many. But I digress. The article presented a very positive view of those who choose to work beyond the typical (whatever that is) retirement age. A sub story in the publication presented a 92 year old woman that still worked a full day every day (isn’t this a good work ethic). Her boss was at loss for words when asked what he would do when this valuable employee retired.
How could anyone find fault with BusinessWeek for publishing this story? The real point that I’m leading to is the online comments following the print publication. I prefer to go from memory rather than research the article. The very first comment was from an individual who identified himself as one of the single letter generations. In his comment he took the publication to task for even suggesting that those of retirement (again what is that?) age should stay in their jobs. Why? Well by staying in the workforce they are denying the younger generation, of which he was part of, jobs that rightfully should belong to them. We could spend more words than I’m allowed discussing his position so I’ll just leave it there.
Another personal anecdotal story I often tell goes back to 1991. My son had just graduated from Tufts University with a degree in mechanical engineering. Like most in his class he had no job offers. Unfortunately, much like the situation today. About a month after graduation he called me from a career fair in Boston. Standing in line, waiting for an interview he was observing others also waiting. His conclusion as he explained it to me was “dad I’ll never get a job here everyone is your age”! Needless to say I fell to the floor in a fit of laughter.
You’ve certainly heard the lines, “you have too little experience for the job” or “you are too experienced for the job”.
There are 3 types of businesses: public corporations, private corporations and those smaller partnerships or single owner. Each of these is typically in the business to make a profit for their owners. Be it large corporations with millions of stock holders (owners), smaller companies, startups funded by venture capital or sole owners, all have a responsibility to make a profit. Yes this is intuitive or Business 101. The operative word to this point in my story is “profit”.
For most businesses their biggest cost is people. Therefore the success (profit) is tied to the people that are hired. So why would any company have a staffing strategy that didn’t follow this simple axiom. Well history shows us that this happens all the time. “Women need not apply” or “no blacks” or “I don’t agree with your sexual orientation”. So let me add to this “employers should not hire those over a certain (what) age”. But wait I thought businesses were motivated by profit?
You see where I’m going with this. Employers staffing based on age, gender, etc. are likely short sighted and compromising their competitive position. Job seekers, if you dwell on the issue of age discrimination (yes it’s there), then you, too, will be compromising your competitive position.
So what is the answer? I think as a refrain from an old (did I say old?) song “it’s blowing in the wind”. But if a company is true to its owners it will develop, execute and measure a strategy that doesn’t lose sight of a tremendous pool of experienced talent. But let’s not stop there. These elder statesmen/women can mentor, share or simply be observed in a multi-generational workforce that will, without question, enhance their competitive advantage.
Job seekers (I’m talking about the older ones) take note. Those enlightened employers need employees that can quickly translate their experience and knowledge to position the company for success. Even if all employers were enlightened to the value of multiple-generational staffing it is still a competitive world out here. Those that learn the rules of the game today will have the best opportunity for new employment. Let me also add that you need to be Positive and Bold.
Now you know why employers shouldn’t hire older workers necessarily. They should hire the best workers for the job.
Perhaps I asked more questions than providing answers. I’ll ask you to give us all some answers via your comments. Employer answers will be greatly appreciated.
The opening to this article is certainly not helping anyone…of any age…and in poor taste. Why is everyone so obsessed with age? How about being obsessed with good character, good work ethic and what that exactly means, and being a fine reasonable person. They do come in all ages, shapes, colors, sizes. Could it be that our economy is in the situation it is in because the refrain “hire young workers” simply did not work because people went too far to the other end of the spectrum? The fact that younger workers think they are entitled to EVERYTHING seems to be today’s problem. Nothing in this world comes easy. That’s a fact of life. And, it is the older worker’s challege to teach the younger worker that good, hard work builds character. I would like to live one day without being reminded about age. It’s a small mind that constantly harps on the subject.
The Retirement Age is going the Wrong Way, It should be 60 ! By now ! for Social Security… and company Retirement with out penalty.. This would help everyone.
I agree that employers should hire those who are the most qualified for any position. However I don’t think that is what always happens. I think in most cases employers look at age and think “Ahh..I’ll hire this person and he/she won’t be able to cut it due some infirmity or another and will end up taking too much time off”. I’m 55 and you could count on your hands(granted on both hands now) how many days off I’ve taken from work in my career. Not many! I don’t come in late, don’t take off time (no snow days),go to work unless I’m seriously sick and then it’s to go to the Drs. But now that I’m out of work none of that seems to count because I’ve hit Senior Citizen status. This is seeming to make me unemployable!
I thought I was the only one out there that feels like Jane Doe (March 4) and Robin (April 18). No one wants to hire people based solely on the most qualified. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dealt with companies on the phone and in person at which I’ve had to deal with some young little twit who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Obviously, they weren’t hired for what they can do for the company and these companies don’t seem to care. Right now, I’m waiting to hear about a job with the federal government and you can bet that I’m not going to get hired. I’ve just lost all confidence in what I can do anymore because I know that someone younger will get the job. The only way that the younger generation today will have any empathy for being older is when they turn 50. Only then will they know what it’s like — then I’ll have the last laugh. Time goes by fast, kids. It seems like only yesterday that I was 20 yrs. old.
I am 79 shortly to be 80, still strong and collective. I use computer everyday doing writing, design when necessary, data imput being in Real Estate profession 13 years. Before this I was 36 years in commerce & industry before retirement in 1992. Tired of road runnig as salesperson, I decide now to look for Admin office work. Is there anyone left with consideration for seniors who are keen to work? Necessity is mother of invention. None of us expected economic distress we see today prior to our retirement and so forced to seek employment for economic reason and besides good for us to mingle with people. I am looking for work and would be grateful for one. I was in Printing & Packaging industry for 36 years (24 years CEO). I worked with Chamber of Commerce, Fund Raising organisations and clubs. Many thanks.
As much as I want to blame kids. I haven’t been interviewed by that many. Most of them are around my age or older. They seem to want younger people working for them. I am 49 but people tell me I can pass for 30’s. It still doesn’t help because you have to be 25. I have walked into interviews and literally been asked no questions. The reason, I believe, is that they did not realize I was older when they called me. Then they decided they did not want to waste any time trying to find out about my background so they bum rushed me out the door in under 20 minutes. It was not so age-ist back in the 80’s and people were accustomed to working with a mix of ages….and when I was 20 I did not view my 40 year old co-workers as “MY DAD or MOTHER”. But when those people who work for Google turn 40, they better watch out. I bet they will be very angry then.
About a year ago I saw a position opening at the Otis Elevator company. One of the must-have “hard” requirements was that the candidate must have “60+ years experience working with Otis elevators.”
No wonder the Company has been so successful all these years! Check out what company makes the elevator you’re riding in the next time you’re riding in one. (It’s also great advertising, indicating that the candidate obviously didn’t die in an elevator accident!)
Sometimes I just can’t quite grasp that I’ve been looking for work for 12 months now. I am in Kansas but I’ve been looking nationwide. I am a Cost Accountant by trade (a good one, too) who happens to be well-experienced in a variety of other areas (compliance, contracts, training, ERP planning & deployment, etc.) but after 300+ resumes, only 15 interviews and no offers. I have a fairly recent BS (Computer Information Systems) and an even more recent MBA.
I think the most disheartening part of the job-searching process is when you get an interview, you are well-prepared, you do an seemingly wonderful job on everything they throw at you, you basically have an outstanding interview in which people not only seem to appreciate your resume but really seem to like you….. but once you leave the facility, you never hear a single thing. Not a phone call, a letter, and email, nothing.
Do I think it is blantant age discrimination? You bet. What clues me in most of the time is when I walk in the person or team I am to interview with is immediately disappointed. I guess some folks just can’t hide those all-telling expressions as well as they think they can.
I agree employers do not often hire older candidates, though I disagree that it’s always due to some perceived infirmity – as a commenter above noted.
I think it has to do with three other things: experience level, salary/compensation, mold-ability.
Experience – older candidates could be perceived as “over-qualified” which leads to higher salaries and could potentially lead to higher turn-over as they get bored and realize there are better opportunities elsewhere.
Salary/Compensation – again, experience and education levels tend to correlate with higher salary or base pay expectations. Younger workers may not know how to negotiate salary and take whatever is offered. Older candidates may try to negotiate (which, in all fairness, is what we should all learn to do for ourselves).
Mold-ability – older individuals tend to be viewed as “set in their ways”, less likely to understand the latest technology and corporate atmosphere. If you get someone still wet behind the ears you have the opportunity to make them the kind of worker you want, rather than working with the kind of worker someone else already developed.
I have worked very very hard all my life, and I am a very seasoned, experienced employee. I have had to learn to be very flexible and get along with many different age groups, races and religions in the work place. However, now that I have hit that magic age of 50+ I have turned invisiable. My ideas, input,example are not heard or seen. I am not a credible person any more. Because of the wonderful economy that has fallen apon this nation, I have had to use retirement money to survive. Now that I am getting older I still have to work hard and I will never be able to retire till the day I drop over dead. I can not find worthy work to keep up with the cost of living. My energy is not what it was when I was twenty but I have a wealth of knowledge that no one wants. How will I take care of my needs if I can not find work. I refuse to go on welfare, but I have heard twenty year old people with energy plus say they are going to the welfare dept. to get everything they can, because they deserve it? No, one asks me to do anything, nor do they let me be responsible for anything in the work place. I have to stomach everyday haveing a twenty year old be in charge. I have 35 years of experience in life, I have never been in trouble financially or with the laws of this land. I have always finished what I start and never leave my mess for someone else to clean up!!!!!! I have been known to work 24 hours a day to get the job done! I have found out that there are two types of people in this life THOSE WHO WORK and those who let them work. One day THE FIRST WILL BE LAST!!! I can not wait for that day!! I for one feel totally cheated by this government and its politics. They all disgust me…and leave a bitter taste in my mouth. All my blood, sweat, and tears over the years to work hard, do a good job, be reliable, have integrity, know what the word honor and respect is and apply them. This has all turned into ashes when I hit 50, going to work everyday and feeling no respect. Going into job interviews and have people give you that glazed look, it is so rewarding. Now is where the rubber meets the road for me boys and girls. I will always live my life with honor no matter what happens and I guess this society gets what it deserves. We have spoiled the younger generations. Now they think they deserve everything with out working for it. Youth and vitality has nothing over old age treachery….. tread softly…. One wonders what kind of world these twenty something people think they are developing for their old age? Who will take care of them when they are to old to work any longer?
Your comment might have been true 5 years ago… but it no longer applies to 95% of the over 50 job seekers at this time. Most of us would just like to have a job which will utilize our vast experience and work ethic. I doubt too many of us are WISHING to change jobs again anytime soon – if ever. And, yes, we are already “developed” but that doesn’t mean the learning eagerness has stagnated either. There is something to be gained by an employer when they don’t have to train or develop the “wet behind the ears” generation. I wish people would STOP stereotyping ALL older workers and ALL younger workers into neat little compartments – each worker is unique and no matter the age, has something to add to the workforce. That is called diversity.
“”doubt too many of us are WISHING to change jobs again anytime soon – if ever. “”
You brought up a good point. I HATE JOB HUNTING and I would rather die than voluntarily leave most jobs (unless it is awful). However if you told an interviewer you wanted to stay in a job 10 years they would put the black mark next to your name. I truly believe most employers want you gone after two years. That is when they turn on you and make your life so miserable that you quit. But if you don’t they will fire you.
Shows you how full of BS they are. It absolutely is age pure and simple.
I am not applying for a receptionist at a modeling agency. There is no need to look young for most jobs that are done over the telephone. It is just our rotten system which is run by rotten people.
We can only hope the same thing happens to them. And if somehow the shoe is on the other foot, i will make sure they don’t get hired by me.
hello friend this is ethan martin.
i have read your blog and i found it very interesting.you have given a rightful decision and i agree with your comments.I’ve had to deal with some young little twit who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Obviously, they weren’t hired for what they can do for the company and these companies don’t seem to care. Right now, I’m waiting to hear about a job with the federal government and you can bet that I’m not going to get hired. I’ve just lost all confidence in what I can do anymore because I know that someone younger will get the job. i hope that you will post such interesting blogs in future also.
Inexperienced or Experienced no longer count for very much in the digital age.
It’s always been ADHD: attitude, dedication, hardwork & discipline 😉
+ it pays well to know who…and even more lucrative, WHO knows YOU.
Ann… I loved your comments about having a seemingly fabulous interview and then never receiving one email, phone call, letter etc from the employer. I’m in my mid 50s and, over the past three years, have applied to over 100 jobs with the government, private sector and Capitol Hill (where I worked for ten years in the 80s). Recently, I’ve had interviews with three Chiefs of Staff from congressional offices. We initially had phone interviews where we thorougly discussed my 30 plus years of work experience. The staffers told me that they wanted to hire a seasoned person in the position, not a young individudal just out of college. Even after I sent a nice email thanking them for meeting with me, I never received a response. After searching on the congressmen’s websites, I discovered that indeed mid-twenty year old people were hired… (Amazing what one can discover on the internet and Facebook)…. At least I know that I’m not alone. Hopefully, you’ve found a position by now…. Good luck!!
Gene, I think you hit the nail on the head when you talk about PROFITS. Yes, businesses are in existence for one reason: PROFITS. Without profits a business will eventually die or remain stagnant. Not many here mentioned how they tried to sell the idea that if they were hired, they would help bring the company up to the next level, improve efficiency, increase revenue or even grow a larger customer/client base.
Entitlement is what you might receive if you are on your parents’ will. A fresh young straight “A” college student may feel that they deserve reward for their dedication and hard work in school. Why did they strive to be the best in class and apply themselves? They may feel that they have earned the right to get a job after investing their time, money and energy into a getting degree, just like an older person feels that they have EARNED the right to land a decent job too. No one is asking for a handout. An older worker paid their dues and have a lifetime of experience to offer an employer too, but everyone regardless of age has to communicate their VALUE and why hiring them would make a smart INVESTMENT.
I am in contact with middle-aged job seekers who are qualified and willing to work, but I am still having the hardest time convincing them that they have to tell the employer how they can improve their business, profits and/or bottom line. Yes, folks – money still speaks the loudest no matter what age you are. If you are 70 years old, but have a reputation and track record for growing businesses and making improvements, an employer will want you for as long as they can have you whether that is 1 year or 10.
A lifetime of experience does not have to mean you are “overqualified” and hence would require too much money to hire. One way to market yourself to a prospective employer is to explain that your variety of talents can save them money and a big way. PROFITS
Currently, many companies have downsized, leaving their remaining staff to expand their job roles. No longer does one person do one thing. You might find that the clerical person also does accounting, desktop publishing as well as HR. One person can save considerable amount of money by doing the jobs of two people instead of just one. The employer pays just one salary, instead of two or three salaries plus benefits.
Pride yourself on the fact that you have a world of experience and can become one of the company’s top performers, thus saving them both TIME and MONEY. Do the math. Present those numbers during your interview and show how much money the company can save if they hire you. Tell the interviewer that you can hit the ground running and that you are confident that with your wide range of experience you can make considerable progress for the company in a relatively short amount of time. Use your real life stories and past experiences to provide your proof. Most people find it easier to remember you by listening to your real stories, not reading résumés.
Another way older workers have an advantage over the young job seekers is that many older workers do not have to claim benefits from their employers because they are already receiving benefits. Use THAT as a bargaining tool the next time you are getting interviewed and show the company how they can save money if they hire you.
The job seekers I see reveal to me that they are tired of looking for work and tired of feeling rejected. Their self-esteem has hit rock bottom and they have a difficult time seeing their own worth and value. Some feel that they have worked their whole life and should not have to do a big sell to land a job. They tell me that they have paid their dues and it is humiliating to have to “beg” or “bargain” for a job. The fact is that the working world has changed and it is better if you accept that and get yourself back in the game, especially when you really do have so much to offer. Remember that an interviewer can see that you are depressed, frustrated or bitter and will not be excited about hiring you if this is what they sense. Employers are not charities and won’t hire you because they feel sorry for you. It’s an employers market right now and employers can have the pick of the lot.
It is not always the person who is most qualified who gets the job, but the person who is able to sell themselves most effectively.
Hello, I’m Mike and I’m 48 years OLD. I worked for a Furniture Company in the south for 18 years, they filed Ch 11 in 2005. I was lucky and got a job working for a computer company, worked there for 4 years and they moved production to Mexico. I have been going to college to get a Engineering Degree, I’m almost done with school. One thing I did not realize or gave it any thought, was my age. In the past month or so, i’ve had about 6 interveiws, and some have requested me to come back for a second interveiw, but no offers as of yet. I guess I look good on paper, but not in person. The idea of not hiring older workers is puzzeling, they see your age on your application, so why do they call you in for an interveiw? I’d rather receive the thanks but no thanks email. I have interveiwed for posistions i know i’m qualified for. I had one i interveiwed for had one position open, they filled it but they called me in for another interveiw. They had two more openings they did not post. In the first interveiw i was told i was in the top three. They hired someone else for the number two spot and reposted the third position, and never called me pertaining the second interveiw i did. I’m not giving up at this point, i guess i’ll end up in a covenient store. A person with an assosiates degree in engineering computer electronics internetworking and years of experience in management positions, talent and knowledge being wasted.
I am recently unemployed. How as a senior do you cope with the stress of this situation.
Great article – I was struck with your statement, “Employers staffing based on age, gender, etc. are likely short sighted and compromising their competitive position”.
As an Independant looking to bring in additional team members to our online marketing organization, I am actually trying to reach out to active baby boomers and older professionals as many have fantastic sales skills, business connections and networks that many of us younger professionals do not!
Being a military brat also, I carry a deep respect for those who have already paved the way and see that as an opportunity to walk in the footprints of someone who is already successful – thus learning how to become as successful myself.
Our country is looking at a whole new frontier and I would rather learn and grow alonside others with solid business backgrounds, then to try to re-invent the wheel…
Tamara your comments regarding bringing value dedication bla bla bla doesn’t apply in today’s climates as most companies are heavily centralized in terms of utilizing the various software programs in generating the level of efficiency it takes to stay competitive. In other words the digital world and the streamlining of various business models have created an atmosphere in reducing the need for more experienced workers. Many companies don’t seem to realize their weaknesses as a result of these practices in moving away from a lot of the basic concepts that would compliment these new strategies but unless your in management you may as well be talking to the wall.
I was hired when I was 49 and laid off with half the staff at our location two years ago during the economy tank when I was 52. It was really quite impressive how hard the company worked to keep us all employed as long as they did in the construction biz. The company treated us lay-offs great so no complaints there.
For seven years I’ve had slowly increasing Parkinson’s symptoms. Wow, now try to get through an interview with a shaky hand. The questions just stop. No comments and no calls. As a former employer, I know labor law. It is easy to figure this out. Any breath of concern for age or health status by the interviewer and they know they are in deep doo-doo. So they say nothing, make no call backs. Silence is their only safe position.
Older and less healthy workers have even a bigger mark against them with mandated health insurance costs. A friend of mine who owns a large store said he and his wife pay 10K more each, per year, for their group health plan premiums. I said I have my own health insurance so wouldn’t I be a lower overhead employee. He pointed out that they want everyone in the group plan because that spreads the risk. And, they want that group to be as young and healthy as possible. That way the young majority funds the plan without making claims themselves. Sounds a lot like social security , eh?
The biggest drawback to Parkinson’s is that most people who don’t have it assume the worst. So I wonder sometimes if I should just announce that I have it and clear the air. I have not gotten up the courage to do this yet and would be interested in any feedback from an employer reading this as to wether that would be a good strategy or just be the end of the interview. I would hate to declare the Parkinson’s at the one interview that was going to get me a job offer and shoot myself in the foot.
As of now, I can only hope to start a business and hire myself.
I think old workers should be given chance to be hired. They have good history of experience in certain industries. It doesn’t mean that it is required to pay them much, but at least these workers can feel that they are in demand and do something good for society.
All the above comments have happened to me because I have been looking for work and have had three years of interviews. But here’s one I bet you haven’t thought of. Even in volunteer work they have age discrimination. I’ve applied to various volunteer places to work for free and I never hear from them. Now that’s true age discrimination. I’m 50+. Swim a mile and walk 8.
The companies that see this “silver tsunami” of the older worker moving back into the workforce and recognizing the great advantages of us are miles ahead of their competitors. I recently got a part time job in a Home Depot near my home in Oklahoma and I have been impressed with their attitude toward their older employees.
December 25, 2011 at 2:46 said –
Thank you for your comments and concerns. These are good ones. You said:
“Tamara your comments regarding bringing value dedication bla bla bla doesn’t apply in today’s climates as most companies are heavily centralized in terms of utilizing the various software programs in generating the level of efficiency it takes to stay competitive.”
Why don’t older workers upgrade their skills instead of relying on the traditional skills that got them employed years ago? If technology has changed why can’t we change with technology? Many older job seekers I meet on a daily basis don’t have an interest or desire to learn about Twitter, Social Media, iphones, ipads and modernized computer software. Employers are prejudiced when hiring an older worker because they are under the impression that you “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and that older people are “stuck in their ways.”
“In other words the digital world and the streamlining of various business models have created an atmosphere in reducing the need for more experienced workers.”
For ANY workers for that matter. It takes less people to do the job now. More workers are doing more small jobs as part of their big job. With E-marketing for example, an employer can make his product available to the entire world. He can sell out of his home or warehouse and he or she doesn’t have the expense of the overhead or the expense of having to pay “traditional” experienced workers. We need new experience.
All businesses need accountants. How many experienced accountants are proficient in modern accounting software and spreadsheets for example? How is payroll done now? What about online bill paying? Can you update a website? Can you take orders from a website? Can you offer quality customer service that makes customers come back and/or tell their friends? (Building profits here.)
Businesses have been closing down and/or barely hanging on forcing them to downsize or worse yet – outsource. One way for a business to prosper, is to grow a bigger customer base. Turns out that E-Marketing became more profitable than without it. Now the whole world has access to products and services and can order online from the convenience of their own home.
“Many companies don’t seem to realize their weaknesses as a result of these practices in moving away from a lot of the basic concepts that would compliment these new strategies but unless your in management you may as well be talking to the wall.”
True. I’ve seen companies fail because they didn’t want to bother updating their business practices or they couldn’t afford to do it, or they just simply did not know how. Maybe you can’t convince managers to change their ways, but you can still sell your value with upgraded skills, new information and a good attitude. Tell them what you can produce in the first 3 months, the next 6 months or year. Find out what their goals are and make them your goals too. Find their pain points and be the solution. How does being young or old effect the outcome? Are you going to stick around for a while or retire in a few years? Would an employer want to make good money even though you can only work for 5 more years or would they rather get a lesser paid college kid who will need time to adapt, learn and make mistakes (cost money) along the way?
Another employer pet peeve is that many workers (regardless of age) have bad attitudes, are bitter, are complainers or “know-it-alls.” Another myth that many employers have (not all of them) is that older people will call in sick more often. They think they have physical ailments and have to see the doctor. They think that older people are slow and can’t keep up with younger people. Older people look tired and are not enthusiastic because they are no longer ambitious . . blah, blah, blah . . .
IF you are fortunate to get an interview, it is a golden opportunity to bust down these myths and reassure the interviewer that you are healthy and can contribute to the company. Do you run everyday? Are you a gym member? Do you teach yoga classes? Are you a health nut? Do you pride yourself on the excess amount of sick time that you didn’t use at your last job (Money saver!!!)? Do you stand up straight or are you hunched over? Do you keep talking about the good ol’ days or the way things were? Are you stuck in the past? Is your wardrobe updated? Are you still wearing glasses frames from the 80’s?
Bad management is another related subject, but what does age have to do with making profits, increasing revenue, building a customer base, growing the company, decreasing frustration, cutting production time, decreasing turnover, improving morale, increasing sales, improving the bottom line?
Jay Jay says:
February 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm
“The biggest drawback to Parkinson’s is that most people who don’t have it assume the worst. So I wonder sometimes if I should just announce that I have it and clear the air. I have not gotten up the courage to do this yet and would be interested in any feedback from an employer reading this as to whether that would be a good strategy or just be the end of the interview. I would hate to declare the Parkinson’s at the one interview that was going to get me a job offer and shoot myself in the foot.”
Wow. 🙁 Well, I’ve known people to come right out in the beginning – just as you say- and address these issues and concerns right away. I worked with one fellow who had a twitch in his left eye and made him wink at you constantly. He was in job club last week, introduced himself and with a smile calmly said, “You may have noticed that I have a twitch. Don’t worry, I am not winking at you.” Then he went on to tell us that he had gotten a temp job that might be permanent. We all clapped and cheered him on and asked for details about his new opportunity.
Another middle aged woman had a voice that was rough and hard to hear. She immediately told us about her thyroid surgery that left her this way and that she cannot do telephone work any more. Rather than look at what she couldn’t do any longer she presented what she could offer the employer.
If there are any managers out there I would like to hear their advice too. I also would like to hear from people who work with the disabled or who work with those who are physically challenged. Jay jay – see if you can get get some expert advise on the subject. You are not the first with these type of questions.
You might find that there is an older worker bias in some industries. For example, most financial planners and/or consultants are mature. Companies prefer to hire those individuals over someone who has little life experience and appear to lack the wisdom to go with it. Few are comfortable talking about retirement plans to someone who is 23 years old.
Seven Mistakes Job Hunters Older Than 50 Make
I have heard about age discrimination in the work place and i just had my own
experience and i could not believe it ,i am so frustrated and upset that i cannot
believe how these big companies operate.
I was told by someone at their head office that the manager said i was not a good
fit ,i was more than qualified and the job was an excellent fit but all they want
from people who are 50 plus is their money to buy goods at their store .
I wish that people who were 50 and over would not buy at this place and maybe
they would take a look at their hiring practices.
Good luck to everyone 50 and over trying to find a job.
I was hired by the company that I work for now when I was 52. So its not impossible. You just need to be in the right industry, and look for more conservative companies.
Also, as I get older I realize that as health insurance requirements change and costs increase, I might get pushed out when I get close to 60, so I’m reinventing myself with new skills…. also if you work as a contractor (hourly), they wont care so much about your age, since they aren’t planning to keep you long anyway, and you can jump from contract to contract.
Its time to get creative about how to stay employed. Don’t fight what is happening, just figure out how to work within the contraints that are out there.
Good luck to all, its not easy, but has it really ever been???
RE: Older workers
Why do older workers constantly tell you in a phone or personal interview that they have 30 to 40 years experience? It’s a BIG MISTAKE. Who cares what happened in the last 30 or 40 years? As a recruiter for a major industry, I’ve learned to stay alive in the US market you have to be young of heart and vibrant, and enthusiastic in your approach. The competition is BRUTAL for jobs these days. ( I myself am 63 year old ) I want to hear what the candidate has accomplihed in either sales advances or increases within the last 1 to 4 years. I want to hear about the savings the oprations manager has saved his plant in the last 1 to 5 years. I and the industry doesn’t give a tinkers damn about what you did or how you USED to do it 30 or 40 years ago! SO STOP IT. You got to change with the times or go find a rocking chair and retire. Or better yet, start your own business.
My grandparents worked well into their 80s.
My aunts, uncles etc worked into their 70s.
My grandfather died at work, doing what he loved-he was in his 60s.
I am only retiring when i find that my body can no longer tolerate working-at least not F/T.
Social Security will not be around or will be significantly reduced by the time i hit my 60s. I am currently in my 40s and yes-there’s plenty of age discrimination.
The young ones are upset because they think that older workers are taking jobs that are “rightfully theirs”. Well-they are not. The job belongs to he/she who Qualifies for the position based on their skills and/or experience.
The older worker has EARNED the right to be in the job/career they are in.
Conversely, i see more younger workers, with few qualifications, being hired simply because they are Young or cute or perky or blonde–whatever. Older workers get passed on often enough in favor of younger ones when they are seeking employment.
Younger people are less likely to have kids at their age, and more likely to be able to move back in with their parents than someone who’se in their 40s, with kids in tow-could.
Older workers tend to have much greater responsibilities than younger workers-since they may not only have kids to raise, but also may have to care for an ailing parent.
Older workers are less likely to be able to move-because they have a mortgage or a spouse with a job that cant be left.
Younger people are more mobile, they tend to live in apartments or other rental situations that allows for travel, relocation and mobility.
Younger people can take on roommates in a pinch. Older workers with kids cannot.
When kids are involved HEALTH, SAFETY and lifestyle becomes a major concern. You wouldn’t move a complete stranger into your home with your kids around.
Case in point–younger people have MUCH MORE flexibility in everything from work arrangements to relocation to living arrangements than older workers have.
So no-i don’t feel sorry for the younger worker. They have time on their hands– more than 40+ years to bounce back recover along with the economy. They have time on their side. Enough time to build quite a nice nest egg once this economy starts moving again. Older workers don’t have the luxury of time.
I can totally relate to the person who mentioned that it is always a 20 something who gets the job. This has happened to me over and over also. Although once in a great while I do see a person my age (near 50) get the job so that is something to be glad about.
With the job pool being full of job seekers, many employers are holding out for that “super” employee. Because there are so many diversified and qualified applicants available right now, many companies are waiting for that perfect candidate complete with the right experience and all of the “bells and whistles” every company dreams of hiring.
Also, someone who is already employed is more desirable than someone who has been unemployed. Many older workers who have found themselves amongst the long-term unemployed have an even tougher challenge to find work. Hiring managers tell me that they prefer to hire someone who is already working because to them, someone who has been out of work for some time has not kept their skills up-to-date and may be rusty or outdated.
Some employers are also under the false impression that the long-term unemployed don’t really want a job or they would already have one by now. Many feel that the long-term unemployed are those who do not want to contribute to a company, but instead merely looking for a pay check. Their heart isn’t in it, they are not invested or engaged and are just trying to survive. Truth is, that some job seekers are and some are not. Employers are quick to judge based on their first hand observation. The GOOD news is that people can learn to sell themselves in a way that let’s the employer wonder what they would be missing if they did not hire them Hiring a person is ultimately about the bottom line, profits and productivity – regardless of streamlining and the onset of new technology.
With healthcare issues and mandated insurance costs – a company still has the ability and the power to choose a person who can bring value over choosing someone who is young, and healthy and won’t drive up healthcare costs. A company has the power to choose a person who can make money, save money, grow the company, expand the business, develop ideas, improve efficiency, reduce waste etc. or they can choose someone who is not going to run up healthcare costs. Each company is different with different ethics and practices. Do the research and find a company who is looking for you and your intelligence, years of experience, wisdom and the know-how to bring the company up to the next level.
If it is technology that is holding you back, by all means go to an adult school and get your education. Technology is here to stay and employers want to survive the economic situation by hiring people who will help them stay competitive in a global market. Think more like the employer and less like an employee. A bitter attitude will not get you hired, but having the mindset of a business partner will get you more attention than just asking for a job. Sell your skills rather than ask for a position. You have something to offer an employer, just like the employer has something to offer you. It is a two way street. You need each other. Good companies want good employees and good employees want good companies.
I got laid off in 2008 from a customer service job , it was an optical company.
I worked there from 1989 , i enjoyed what i did , had alot of accounts who trusted
that they would get their orders correct. I learned everything i could about the products
we sold through looking at catalogs etc. Anyway i had applied at several optical stores
pearl vision, vision works ( got a run around at one store) lens crafters , even a large
company that sells similar products my company handled ( had an interview) hence never got hired. I tried hotels , restaurants , stores , other types of customer service
jobs in medical supply , textiles, label companies , screw companies, food companies,
the list goes on and on. And i was seeing the ads for some of these companies and most
of them have eoe which means equal opportunity employer. Then why do they ask you
your gender and race. or ethnic background? Also they have age of at least 18 with
1-2 years experience . How much experience could someone who is 18 have?
And i had crazy interviews , some made me feel hopeful that i was an excellent
candidate and then nothing. But i did receive a rejection letter from Trader Joes.
Yeah really… Trader Joes. Anyway i keep trying my unemployment benefits ran out
well over a year ago. I think one of the reasons alot of companies are only hiring
younger workers is that everything is centered around them in this world.
Look at the fashions , music players , internet they want everything now ..and fast
and maybe companies think older workers are not up to the times or fast enough.
But fast is not always better , it is when mistakes start to happen.
I sometimes think when i am being interviewed by a younger person that maybe
they think i know too much and their job may be at jeopardy.. idk.
I wish everyone in the job market good luck.. it has to get better . somehow
that’s what i am always told . but of course it is from someone who has a job.
Good luck, GOD BLESS AMERICA.
I was pushed out of my last job because I wouldn’t quit. I know it is because I am 60 years old. Life was made very miserable on the last job I had but because I knew how bad the economy was and how unlikely it would be for a person over the age of 50 to be hired, I tried to game out the hostile environment to which I was subjected to get me to quit. I think my boss must think that the law of the universe (what goes around, comes around) does not apply to her. Just wait until she gets to my age. She is an attorney, and lied during my unemployment insurance appeal hearing to make sure I didn’t get anything because she considers it a sign of her power when any former employee she doesn’t like is seen on the curbside with a begging sign. Do not think that my former boss’s attitude is an exception. I think it is part of why employers like to turn us down for employment. It might as well be a death panel. They know you need money for rent, but if they can force you to live outside during a harsh winter that they are “trimming the herd.” I know that is harsh, but I truly believe that is how a lot of young employers think.
Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.
Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for
I am going through the same thing – 16 months now. For one thing, this is not something that the media talks about. Do you ever hear anything on the news about age discrimination in the work place, do you ever read about it in the news paper or magazines or is it ever broadcasted on the radio? The answer is NO – NEVER. This is a major problem. People need to get out there and bring attention to this matter. It needs to be talked about – over and over by the media. If this doesn’t happen, this problem will never change. I wrote to the President a year ago and again this year and sent him some of the articles on line. I also wrote to my congressman about this. They just responded that there is no legislation on this matter. If enough people get out there and complain, maybe something, in time, would be done. My suggestion was that every company should have to hire a few people between ages 55 & possibly 65. People need to speak out more about this, so the media will talk about it. Otherwise, just to post your story and my story online, we will get no where.
Please people, let your stories be heard by the media. I in addition to writing our President and Congressman, today I called chanel 5 Cleveland news. They are going to see if they can air this issue on the news. I also emailed WNIR radio station to see if they could do the same. We can maybe all make a difference, if we all speak out in some of these ways.