Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I am the goddess of optimism. After some recent conversations with some smart, talented, hard working folks over 55, I felt like Tinkerbell when she lost her magic.

 

The stories and the dilemmas are predictable. Layoffs occur and companies ax their older, soon-to-retire-and-claim-their-hard- earned-pension employees, AKA “the over 50 crowd”. Some are fortunate enough to have worked for companies who have a heart that doesn’t look like the Grinch. They leave with at least a severance package. Most don’t and end up walking into their adult children’s homes as their own go into foreclosure. Of course, many will save face and tell you they moved in to help with the children when in fact, they had no place to go.

 

Looking for a job after 55 can be one of the most discouraging experiences ever. Hundreds of resumes submitted online, discarded for lack of keywords and gaps in employment history .Once in a blue moon, there will be an opportunity to interview. For almost all applicants in this age group, there will be nothing offered them that even vaguely resembles what they have done or earned before. So, they settle, or they think they will, for a job that is far “below them” only to find that they can’t get hired for minimum wage jobs either. Instead of keywords, now words like “overqualified” greet them if they ever get a response from their applications at all.

older worker

Workers over 55 have values, work habits and loyalty that are virtually impossible to find today. Their years of experience and history are invaluable, and yet they are passed up and passed over. Why? For less experienced but less expensive younger employees? Because aging adults will mean a rise in their company healthcare costs/bracket? Do they think that older workers will miss more work from illness…more than new parents with sick children and limited money for childcare??

 

If you are over 55, you will need to find the creative in yourself if you want and need to earn a living. According to the latest data, we are all going to live a lot longer than our parents and grandparents.  Finding work with a sense of purpose and income potential is critical, especially if we plan to be around 20 additional years.

I know those adult kids will agree!

 

 

 

 

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