There’s a discussion I think we need to have that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
I’ve been thinking about this for the last year or so, as the job market has gotten worse.
The pink elephant seems to be those who are discriminated against for their age – specifically, the older worker (we can talk about age discrimination for younger workers in a separate post).
Let’s assume a couple of things:
- The economy, and the job market, are in the crapper. Regardless of what strategies and tactics you employ, some of you just won’t find a job. Period.
- Older people (what’s the age cutoff? 40? 50? 60? Or is it a matter of wrinkles and gray(ing) hair?) are passed over for jobs for various reasons.
Put these two together and it can be beyond discouraging.
Yesterday I read a really interesting post titled Silicon Valley’s Dark Secret: It’s All About Age. Of course we knew some of this stuff (or all of it), and it’s not limited to Silicon Valley. But the post puts certain things into perspective.
The author, Vivek Wadhwa, ends with this:
Finally, I don’t know of any university, including the ones I teach at, that tells its engineering students what to expect in the long term or how to manage their technical careers. Perhaps it is time to let students know what lies ahead.
Interesting… does this mean that what you think your career will look like is what it really will look like?
Maybe, the older we get, the more our career changes?
It’s not that you are getting put out to pasture (excuse the phrase but I know many older, discriminated-against wannabe-employees feel that way), but maybe your role and value prop is simply different.
Maybe you are chasing after the wrong job, wrong level, wrong company.
What are the options… one I’ve heard is “I don’t have to work anymore… I’m trying to figure out if I want to.” What a nice place to be. Not many have that option.
What are other options?
Freelancing/consulting seems fun but it is definitely not without stress or problems.
Starting a company is a viable option but, again, not without stress or problems (who’s ready to spend 15 hours a day on a new business??).
Seriously… what are real options for older workers who are not finding any success in finding a job, I mean making ends meet, I mean figuring out where any income will come from??