I'm chronologically considered old.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am healthy, active, and certainly not ready for the rockin' chair.
So... why won't you hire me?

After a certain age, if you aren't already working in a stable job, it is extremely hard to find something.  It is becoming a major problem as people are living longer and remaining healthy, viable workers. If you are in this position, you know what I'm talking about.

The mind set seems to be that:
1. They want a long time commitment to employment and because we are over a certain age they believe we will retire soon.
2. We are a health risk.
3. We don't have the endurance, energy, or enthusiasm as a younger person.
4. Many of us don't have degrees, so experience means nothing.
5. We are unreliable for whatever other reason they can think up. 

Of course they don't voice these concerns to us, so we are unable to refute them.  There are various ways they are able to find out how old we are without asking, which is illegal.  Not only can they see how many years of work you have accomplished with a chronological resume, but I have been required to give what year I graduated from High School.  Hardly important information for the job, but it identifies your age group.  An immediate signal that you don't fit their profile.

I would bet these are the same people who are jumping on the band wagon about the Social Security crisis.  As an older American I am encouraged to work longer, and continue to add to the fund through paycheck deductions.  To me, this is a catch-22.   I worked with a woman who had  to retire early, and because she couldn't exist on what she received, she was lucky enough to return to work full time.  Many things are wrong with this.  First she was forced into retirement after running through all her unemployment benefits, unable to find a job.  She filed for social security but continued to look for work.  Finding a full time job, her benefits were suspended.  She would never get an increase in her benefit, and yet after returning to work, the deduction was still taken from her check.

There will be people who read this and say, she should have prepared herself better for retirement.   That is another blog post.  It's not always possible to prepare.  I will leave it at that, everyone's situation is different, life events sometimes prevent the best laid plans.

The point I would like to make here is, we have to change how we feel about older workers.  If they have the requirements for the job, they should be considered the same as any other applicant.  That's what the law states, however, we all know it doesn't happen.  We ask for a chance to prove ourselves.  Our years of hands on experience is a asset to any company.  You can read about how to do something but putting it into practical use takes a learning curve. We are ahead of that curve.  We hit the ground running.

My expertise is running an office all by myself, to running just a small facet of a large company.  In my portfolio, is experience from food service management, to a high level distribution company.   I have had experience with  different types of companies from a factory assembler, to financial management.  I worked my way up, it wasn't given to me.  I would be most happy to provide my resume to any serious employers close to this zip code, 78664.

8/21/2012 10:38:34

I know exactly what you mean. When I went job hunting when I was in my 50's everything would go great until they realized I was over 50. Their eyes would glaze and that would be that. I went to work for Kelly Girls and they sent me to Nintendo of America. I was asked twice to become a staff member before I agreed as I knew it would entail long, long hours. I thank God for that job. They paid me to write, read, and talk. I still get my pension from them and their insurance covered my husband until he died and I turned 65. Oh, yes, I did work long, long hours.

8/23/2012 03:28:41

I fortunately worked in the library system during my final outside the home employment where age was not considered much of a handicap. I did had to push carts of books in my week job at the system and generate tons of paperwork to accompany those books that briefly passed through my office. I was circulation to and from the world.
On the weekend, I worked at the local library as a circulation clerk and got to interact with the patrons and was considered the peace maker, taking the difficult patrons and making them smile before they left. I am thankful that was a gift that came with me when born because it has helped me in hard places and with nasty people. Thankfully in the library few readers are difficult unless they don't get their fix of books.
Forced retirement because of Lymph Edema causing the inability to lift, carry, etc. anything over 4 ounces, which has gradually increased to a pound, put me out of the picture so now I sit here and write or edit or help my husband who is not physically unable, has for the most part the brain of a three year old. My end calling seems to be a writer mom.
Do I miss working outside the home? Yes, and no. Yes, because it was easier working in a time frame, and I got breaks. No, because I've always enjoyed being with my husband - just didn't think it would be in this capacity.

I had planned to work until I was, at least 72 or longer if physically fit. My grandmother and my aunt both worked into their 80's, my aunt outside the home. There should not be restrictions because of age, and one thing that was noted, older people work more with a dedicated focus than a lot of the younger workers who look upon jobs as either a necessary evil or just a stepping stone out to a better job.


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