As my friends from Oklahoma would say “this has been a hoot”. A CBSNEWS producer contacted me in early Janurary requesting that Workforce50.com participate in their upcoming Early Show series on finding employment. This series would be a 5 part series featuring 4 job seekers – a new grad, a higher income person, a person returning to the workforce and someone over 55. Obviously CBSNEWS requested that Workforce50.com represent the over 55 segment.
We eagerly and proudly jumped in to the project. The opportunity to give additional visibility to the issues encountered by the older workforce was one we just couldn’t pass up. Nearly 3 months later, the series aired starting on March 23rd, with the over 55 (ours) segment airing on March 27th.
The request from the CBSNEWS producer, Audrey Gruber, was to provide a selection of individuals to choose from, a career coach and a resume writer. Of the 35 candidates that we supplied, Diana Schuman was selected as the job seeker. Workforce50.com’s own “The Art of Job Transition” Expert columnist Kit Harrington Hayes filled the dual role of career coach and resume writer for Diana. Two months of coaching by Kit and many hours of CBSNEWS taping came together in a March 27th segment hosted by the Early Show correspondent Susan Koeppen. The entire process of transforming Diana’s job search was condensed down to about 6 minutes.
Yes it was a hoot!
Please do follow-ups on Diana. Even with all the help, will she change her saving habits and learn the interview routine? Overcoming the “age-old” myths is an ongoing learning process for both boomers and seniors and the rest of the world who think we aren’t capable of more than we are. In fact, boomers are loyal, motivate, hard-working and extremely capable of learning new skills.
Life experience I believe is an avenue that many follow and bring to new positions. Though we might not have the degree’s we have a degree in LIFE experiences. Many of us “over 50” have the protocal, conduct, and knowledge that employers look for in their employees. We are the ones that show up 30 minutes before our work schedule. We are the ones who never call in sick. We are the ones that they come too when they need someone to stay late. We are the ones that finish our work, then look around to see who we could help before we go home. Our parents told us over and over, hard work, dedication, respect for our employer will get us to the top of our fields. I guess that is why I am really confused when I see a hard working, dependable person, respectful individual, be the one who is laid off. Though they keep the person who comes in late each day, takes longer lunches, is not as productive, and clearly does not respect the position they were given. Instead of showing the young workers that hard work pays off. My hat is off to Diana, and I hope she finds her path!
A hoot it was! I applaud CBS News and The Early Show for taking on the substantive issues of unemployment in America. While I longed for more indepth discussion of the issues and challenges of the job seekers, I think they did a nice job of giving voice to the range of issues and offering practical advice. And they devoted an entire segment to “older workers.” That ‘s significant in a world where older workers are often marginalized and the first one’s cut when the chips are down. Finally, people are paying attention!
As part of Workforce50’s team work that partnered with Diana on the “Job Squad,” I want to applaud her for being willing to take the risks she took by participating in this very public project. I also want to applaud her commitment to stepping outside of her comfort zone in the way she conducts her job search. During our work together (I served as her coach) she tried many new avenues for expanding her effectiveness in the job market. A coach can inform, guide and support, but only the client can act on any of it . . . or not.
For any readers who are sitting in front of computers in your PJs, applying for jobs on line and calling that your job search – I regret to inform you that it’s not going to work. I hope you will read my column “The Art of Job Transiton” on Workforce50.com. And if you’d like to know more about the work I do with people 50+, please visit my website http://www.KitHayes.com.