FRUSTRATED AT 50 Writes a Guest Blog Entry

Ink StainAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to mike (at) torontomike.com. I received the following entry from FRUSTRATED AT 50.

ARE YOU BETWEEN THE AGES OF 45-69 AND NOW UNEMPLOYED AND TRYING TO MAKE YOUR WAY BACK INTO THIS NEW WORK WORLD??

Have any of you been left in the position of losing your job at 50 or so and having to make your way back into a world where our experience is no longer valued, where our opinions no longer matter and where recent university graduates are seen as more desirable candidates than us?

Here we are sitting with over 30 years of valuable work experience and no one seems to want it. The job ads that are posted list qualifications and experience that we have never even heard of. Who ever heard of needing a degree to be a salesperson? How about trying to reply to a job ad where your resume seems to get lost in a black hole to never be seen or heard from again? how about making those dreaded follow-up calls after your resume has been sent, in hopes that you may distinguish yourself from the other 500 candidates that submitted their resumes as well. Not only is that frowned upon but your call is usually met with the dreaded icy tone of voice that stipulates very clearly that the expected protocol is to sit tight and wait and if they are interested they will get back to you - in other words = do not call us and rarely do you ever hear back from them.

As a result. we continue to lose sleep night after night, wondering how we are going to pay our rent/ pay our mortgage, feed our family, pay our bills and keep the bill collectors at bay and will we ever be able to retire ? well the grey hair continues to cover our already thinning, greying manes and we continue to remain in the ranks of over 1 million unemployed canadians.

The question begs - - how many of those ages 45-70 are there of us out there ? We are all making a honest effort to secure employment with the best of intentions, have very strong work ethics acquired over all those years in the workforce, yet keep running into brick walls.

Recently, I interviewed for a very low paying job with a non profit organization. After the interview and a brief conversation in the interim, I had not heard back from the organization for close to three weeks, so decided to drop them a note. During the interview they reminded me how lucky I am to be there as I was one of the three finalists and that they were looking to hire immediately. Sounded great even though it was a minimum wage job. I guess the days of making a living that would be in line with a salary that reflects all my years of experience may be gone - .....At any rate, I sent them an email , after a time , inquiring about the job status and was sent back a perfunctory note that read - you were not selected. Thank you,. Is this what the world is coming to ? no decency -no consideration- could the employer at some point during the 3 weeks not have sent me a note and let me know that it looks like they are going with someone else so that i not sit and hold out hope to get a minimum wage job that will barely realistically cover any of my expenses? I guess my 30 years in the work force was clearly not sufficient to perform the job at hand!!!

Apparently, we are living in very tough times but does that mean that common decency and courtesy get thrown out the window and we are forced to now accept the new work world reality where employers feel they have the upper hand and don't have to extend common courtesy to applicants out there?

When I started asking others about their experiences, many lamented and agreed and shared their mutual horror job hunting stories. It would appear that we could use a forum where those in this age gropu realize that there are others and perhaps may force employers to reevaluate their methods and lack of sensitivity. It could be them one day on the unemployment line - did that ever occur to them - it has happened to the best of us!!This is actually where the idea of writing a blog to reach out to those that are living this and really get it.

How about your friends and relatives that are employed and full of useless suggestions that are neither realistic, practical nor make sense. It seems they are the first to offer suggestions and judgements. More often than not , the suggestions they make are not ones they themselves would do but somehow it is is ok for you to do. How about the blame game - according to them there must be something wrong with your job hunting methods - did it ever occur to anyone that there are more capable people out there today THAN jobs and it is really that simple???? as the expression goes - walk a mile in my shoes.......

I would like to believe that there is a place for those of us 45 and older that lost our jobs during the recession and have been scrambling ever since to try and secure something of equivalent value - - does it mean now that all those years that we worked and struggled to climb the corporate ladder now mean that our skills are no longer wanted and that we need to now settle for minimum wage jobs and go full circle back to where we were at 16? how did this all happen??????????? I have been to job search workshops, redid my resume three times, joined numerous network events that I could ill afford , and have been doing all that you are supposed to do as an unemployed person.You try the soft approach - you try the more aggressive route= either way it is a no win.

And so it goes the next day you sit down in front of your computer for another 5 hour day of non stop searching the internet for the one job that one day may be yours? I dont; know about anyone else but it is getting harder and harder with each passing day to keep up with this routine that bears no fruit despite all the effort.

Where does that leave us ?? what are you people OVER 45 out there finding ? I would love to hear from you!!!


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Comments (45 - click here to join in!)

Geoff

I was out of work for 3 months in 2007, 6 months in 2008 and 14 months in 2009-2010. Among the things I learned
1) Potential employers no longer make the hiring experience enjoyable or even bearable. They seem to want to make it a miserable experience for the applicants. I have no idea why.
2) A lot of companies will post a job even though they have an internal candidate in mind. They are wasting your time and emotion so they can do their due diligence. It really makes you wonder how they can treat people this way.
3) Employed people have no concept of what it is like to be unemployed unless they have previously been out of work for more then 6 months. Try not to solicit advise from them.

The only advice I can offer is a good job will come ... eventually. Unfortunately you won't know how long you will have to wait and the "in-between" time is brutal (sorry, can't candy coat it). Your confidence and self esteem will take a hit; there's just no getting around it. On a positive note don't be surprised if you start getting philosophical about the meaning of life, how important a job is and how much money you really need. Just my experience after being fired, laid off and a victim of a hostile takeover all within 3 years. Best of luck to you. It does get better.

November 22, 2011 @ 2:02 PM

CQ

Frustrated at 50 is singing my tune. I will be homeless before 45. Because there is always someone better and more desirable than me. There just is!
Once the first few years roll past, and the chronic short listing fails - then no one will ever consider you. Ever. (I'm a gonna f-off and die. That'll teach my ass but good.)
Whatever happened to just hiring somebody? Now it is all about having an insane amount of unneccessary qualifications, references, and obscure exacting experience for maybe $12 an hour. The lower the job, the worse its song & dance. If you can get it and then not later receive yet another notice.
A faceless lay-off notice is not a reference; neither was getting treated worse than dirt at a former employer's organization.

November 22, 2011 @ 3:11 PM

4x4 Time

I have a small business in the western GTA that employee’s 6 people. We sell packaged goods to Canadian retailers. In February of 2009, we were looking for a shipper/receiver as the fellow we had doing the job decided to move out to BC and work in the forestry business with his uncle.
We posted the job in the local paper, and had well over 100 email replies in the space of 3 days.
I weeded out the emails based on age, and gender (I was looking for a younger person, as the job can be physical, although I did mention this is in the job posting).
I picked 4 candidates to interview and was certain we would get one to take the job.
But I kept getting a call from a guy, who I had not chosen. At first I ignored him, but after the 3rd or 4th call, I dug out his resume.
He was 56 years old lived in town, and had a history of working in Sales positions for Industrial parts supply companies, and had been laid off for the past 4 months.
I agreed to meet with him, and to be honest, just so he would stop calling me and I could explain that I did not think this was the job for him.
We met for over 2 hours, and I realized this guy forgot more about business than I knew.
I hired him with the understanding we would have a 3 month probation period to make sure it was something he could do, and wanted to do.
Today, he runs our Industrial sales division, which until June of last year did not exist, but because of his experience is a now growth opportunity for our company. And we hired another shipper.

November 22, 2011 @ 4:22 PM

AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE

I am so glad to hear from you all - it is thrilling

and by the way I wish someone would give me a break like you did in the 3rd reply - I too am in sales and guarantee that I would be as equally as valauble to a company that hired me - if SOMEONE OUT THERE WOULD JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE!! the last fellow that hired me did just that and he hit the jackpot when he hired me but the company sadly got hammered and folded during the recession!!!NOW I AM REALLY BATTLING - ALL THIS SKILL AND EXPERTISE AND NO WHERE TO USE IT !!!could anybody out there use my skill set??????

November 22, 2011 @ 4:32 PM

Out West

I was in the same boat at 35 years old for 9 months in late Sep-09 to Jun-10

Experienced the exact same. 5 hours a day in front of the computer, hundreds of applications/resumes sent to the electronic never-never land, being final candidate a few times (and waiting 3-4 weeks to find out I was the unsuccessful one)

Eventually I broadened my horizons and started searching out of province. I'm now a former GTAer, but still avid Toronto Mike reader living in North East BC where the unemployment rate is less than 4% and all those tales of $15/hr Tim Horton workers are actually true.

I wish you the best and regret that Ontario has failed so many good hard working people

It wasnt easy leaving extended family behind in order to provide/maintain an average life for me, my wife and 2 kids...but we've literally never been happier and finally feeling like we are getting ahead money and quality of life wise

November 22, 2011 @ 4:42 PM

MAIDA

I was out of work in 2010 for 7 months. I was registered with several agencies where I had always gotten temporary or permanent jobs. Because it was a recession I was not getting any calls or even interviews whereas in the past I would have an average of an interview a week. I was also applying on the internet and also mentioning to people that I was looking.
Finally in August of that year I got a temporary position and have been lucky enough to secure several positions since then although they too have been temporary.
I find that most companies do not want to hire full time and pay benefits and the jobs that are permanent get lots of applicants like you say.
I have been lucky enough through the agencies to get my jobs and hopefully someday I will have my dream job and I hope that you find your dream job too.
I do hear you though. Unfortunately one has to keep at it even though it feels like you are beating a dead horse. You never know what might be around the corner for you.

Best of luck.

November 22, 2011 @ 5:52 PM

mr.awsome

i understand what you are going through it really voices the problems in today's socty

November 22, 2011 @ 5:55 PM

mr.awsome

i understand what you are going through it really voices the problems in today's socty

November 22, 2011 @ 5:56 PM

Allan

I think it's a sad reflection on our society that people of a certain age are finding it so difficult to either find a job or retain one.In our past we have all had jobs that contributed mightily to our society and today we are rejected outright without even a fair trial Come on Canada give us a break!We need the jobs.We need the self-esteem and we need the income.

November 22, 2011 @ 6:42 PM

fish

this article paints a very clear picture of the difficult situation many of us find oursellves in today.Now that we have acquired all these years of experience in the work force they are telling us that we have become irrelevant and not worthy of an interview let alone a job.Thank you for expressing it sowell for us all out there experiencing this loss of self-esteem and not to be ignored -loss of income1!

November 22, 2011 @ 6:49 PM

Disillusioned

Sadly,a mature individual with wisdom,insight ,and experience is having such a difficult time finding a place for himself(herself) in today's society.Surely its time to appreciate what a mature person has to offer.

November 22, 2011 @ 6:57 PM

A follower

Your comments were so "right on"What a well written article.Would enjoy hearing more of your thoughts.

November 22, 2011 @ 8:41 PM

Shelly

Last year after I got laid off a friend of mine who was running a self-employment program suggested that I try starting up my own business. As one who always worked for someone else, I wasn't really sure about that. But after months of job hunting with no success, I decided to give it a try. I applied to the Ontario Self Employment Benefits program with an idea for a business and I was accepted. I got nine weeks of training on how to start up a business and get some financial support for nine months. Currently I've spent more money than I've made, but that is to be expected when starting out. Thank goodness I have a very supportive wife. I'm confident that in the end I will succeed. I am my own boss and am no longer a slave to the corporation. I'm 57. It's never to late to re-invent one's self. Good luck,Frustrated at 50. I wish you well.

November 22, 2011 @ 10:20 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Great in sight in your posting. I know of 3 50+ males, having never been unemployed finding themselves in this situation currently. This recession has been excessively hard on older males, many with 30+ years in the workforce, now being forced to compete with the younger, tech savvy grads.
Good luck in your hunt, something will appear.

November 22, 2011 @ 11:52 PM

Jason Patterson

Cry me a fucking river. The 45's and older created this mess. They tried to make a "better world" and made it worse.

Newsflash, rarely doesn anymore e-mail (in the past 30 years) to let you know you didn't get the job.

Take a look at the term "human resources". If you're deemed not to be a resource, you are a waste of their time. Why would they waste their time telling you that? Yes, that's the world YOU created.

November 23, 2011 @ 7:33 AM

Avrom Shtern

Two issues come to mind:

1. Age discrimination
2. The Great Recession/Depression

1. Just because you are tech savvy, does not mean that you have the wisdom and experience needed to take on the job. Many young people these days do not know how to put together a grammatically correct sentence. Unfortunately, people have become statistics, numbers and impersonal objects. There is no such thing as loyalty and caring anymore in this vicious, vulture capitalist world.

2. The Recession is truly a New Great Depression. In Montreal for example, over 60% of the population depends on some kind of government handout.

De-industrialization and the the transfer of our means of production to slave labour wage countries have underscored the need to reform bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. They must be fair and not just "free" for the venture capitalists and bailed out Wall Street.

November 23, 2011 @ 8:51 AM

Irvine

To the OP: You claim that all those people who offer you advice don't understand your situation. Did you ever once consider that maybe that's why they aren't unemployed? It's not always just about bad luck.

It goes without saying that in some parts of Canada it's a tough crawl. But that should not stop a person from self reflection on how they can better sell their "brand".

1. Self improvement: I'm talking about more than night school. I'm talking about your entire "brand". How you dress. Are you in shape? Have you given thought to self improvement courses & confidence courses. Do you think there is a reason that folks that face the public are so meticulous with their grooming? Reality is reality, people like well dressed, well groomed, fit people.

Communication: Can you speak? Can you write? Can you spell? You can be the best looking, best schooled individual in the city but all you have to do is open your mouth and sound like an idiot. Case in point? Rob Ford. Would you hire Rob Ford?

Relocating: 200 years ago, tribes of natives followed the food. 200 years later you need to follow the jobs. Most of the labour jobs in the oil sands are done by folks from the Maritimes. Making 100k a year driving a giant truck in a circle is sure better than being on welfare. Next time you all start on the anti oil sands rant start considering how many thousands of families have dignity, food and shelter thanks to the oil sands. How many of you would be willing to move to booming Saskatchewan for a job? Or Edmonton? Or Fort McMurray or Fort St John (likely where the Out West is at).

Business Trends: Fred Patterson once told me I was a radio forum troll because I was a "wannabe" and I "never made it". Really? Or maybe I had enough business acumen to realize that my future was much brighter in IT (which is what I do) and that IT had a far brighter future than radio. Radio is a medium in decline. IT is a hot ticket. I also happen to love it.

Add value: When you work do you add value? I always hear people saying "I want a raise" yet I never see them demonstrating how they made a company more money. I'm not talking about service workers in Fast Food. Those people get the shaft. I'm talking about people with careers. They want more money but you never see them retraining themselves or improving themselves so they make their company more money.

I'm beyond that job: A few years ago I had clients in the hotel business. They were desperate for staff. They did everything they could including raising wages. They just couldn't keep people around. Their response was to hire a bunch of Filipino's. When the economy turned sour I recall hearing many people whine about all those "immigrants taking our jobs". Really? Guess they're only your jobs when you need them? I stopped at a truck stop today to get a coffee. A group of drivers was chatting about how hard it was to find people to work. Up the street there is a company that's had a sign out front for 2 months. Labour wanted, 18 dollars per hour.

Re: Self employment: If you think working for the "man" is tough, try self employment. You can forget the labour laws. You can forget paid statutory holidays. Sometimes you can forget getting paid on time too because the client might not pay the invoice on time. Now, on the flip side, self employment teaches you "do or die". Successful entrepreneurs are usually quite self reflective. They don't just recognize their strengths. They recognize their weaknesses & they attempt to either improve them OR learn to accommodate them

I'm not denying it's tough times out there in some areas of Canada. I'm not saying life is perfect. I'm well aware of corporate politics & of all forms of discrimination. I see it all the time. I'm very cognizant that packing up and moving IS a challenge. I've lived and worked in a half dozen major Canadian cities.

PPS: As for the 60% of those folks in Montreal that need a government handout? Ironic given that Montreal and Quebec sit on top of one of the largest shale gas reserves in North America. Perhaps they should develop them rather than whine about hydraulic fracking (all the while shipping Asbestos overseas). 20 years ago Newfoundland was an economic basketcase. Today, Newfoundland is a HAVE province. St John's has a labour shortage. It's unemployment rate is sometimes lower than Calgary. Think long and clear about that the next time you whine about wind turbines spoiling your view of the lake.

November 23, 2011 @ 10:38 AM

Keith

Very interesting point of view. It goes to our society's lack of respect, understanding, appreciation and use of our wisest, most experienced and eager members. Keep up the rants!

November 23, 2011 @ 11:15 AM

Irvine

That said; would you like fries with your burgers, SIR!

November 23, 2011 @ 12:29 PM

Zelda horg_

so...is this my life or what???!!!!! Fustrated at 50, your name should be changed to Fabulous at 50. You represent so many of us. Finally someone see's it from our point of view.

November 23, 2011 @ 12:41 PM

KarenP

love it. Have been in the same situation. Look forward to more blogs.

November 23, 2011 @ 12:43 PM

Mike from Lowville

@Jason Patterson, is your old man Fred? You sound an awful lot like him.

November 23, 2011 @ 1:56 PM

Liz

Irvine, you're a class-A dickweed.

November 23, 2011 @ 4:28 PM

Anonymous

@ Irvine - Yep and you've hit the nail on the head on all fronts

Something tells me you're in a similar age bracket as me in that you don't blame others for your problems but rather rely on yourself to fix them

That is the one Gen X trait that I think the Boomers and Millenium/OWS crowd could learn from

If life throws curves balls, learn to hit a curve ball

I wish the OP all the best knowing there are multiple solutions out there...just none of the silver platter variety

November 23, 2011 @ 4:36 PM

Greg

Really, there is only one way out: Start your own business. It's far more rewarding than working for some asshole who can let you go on a whim. You determine how successful you will be.

There are plenty of businesses you can start for little or no money. You just have to get out there and hustle and work it and sell yourself.

A "business" doesn't have to be some gigantic idea, or some service that nobody else offers (that makes for a poor business, actually). Just figure out something you can do and get out there and monetize it.

I've started 3 businesses now and each one was easier than the one before...and more profitable than the one before it. Not everyone can do it, but for a lot of us this is the only way you are going to get out of this rut.

Do it. Don't be scared, just find yourself and do it!!!

November 23, 2011 @ 10:25 PM

in the hot seat

I get to sit on the other side of the desk - I am a recruiter.

I can tell you - this finished at fifty story has truth in it. Almost every employer looks for the "sweet spot" -30 - 40 even if they don't say it - its subconscious...and, candidates, of course, must come loaded with EXACTLY the skill set they want. Sadly, the days of taking someone eagar smart hardworking are over . for every job posting there will be 150+ resumes.

It's a tough world - I know how many of these people are aching for work - I read each cover - letters that I know someone spent hours carefully and pinstakingly crafting...I know they could do the job given the chance - but there is just one job...and 150+ in line. It is absolutely heartbreaking to have to put a resume on the "no" pile - but it is reality -

It is an electronic version of the pictures you see from the Great Depression where men would line up around the block to apply for jobs...we just don't see it any more so physically - but it is there! Lines of desperate people, cap in hand, lined up waiting for a chance.

My advice - NEVER never say you have 20 or 30 or 40 years experience - you will go right on the past the prime heap - keep the resume short - drop old stuff and irrelevant stuff off - never put your photo, age, date of graduations, information about children grandchildren etc on anything - drop off anything older than 15 years ago-think about down playing high level sounding titles from the past if they are more senior than the job you are applying for -people assume you "won't be satisfied" - reflect exactly what is said in the posting - think about have some "work" - hair color, eyes , botox, clothes - yes you have to look at max 45 and energetic

So so so sad - it is quite a commentary on our society...did you know at Denny's you get the Seniors meal if you are 50!! 50 - yup the senior meal...apparently we have "smaller " appetites... anyone who does not write and complain about that type of stereotyping is jumping up to grab the shovel to dig there own grave...we need to shove back when we can - but if you think about it, this is all reflected in media - did you ever notice in Shoppers (and other advertising) have cosmetics tips for for 20 year olds, 30's and 40..then after that its just the silver haired woman for 50+ always with silver hair!!! They cast 15 year olds into middle age cosmetic ads, they cast 25 year olds in the role of the mom, dads are allowed to be a little older but not much unless they are rich and in shape...sad world...

Jason, as annoying as he is...has a point - the world has changed - its meaner, more self absorbed, less respectful of anyone who is in the way....that sadly is not going to change...its just going to get worse.he is a perfect example of the new insensitive move over and die if you are over 50 attitude...he really says it all. In fact, he is your worst nightmare - the guy with hiring authority - terrified or absolutely disrespectful of anyone older than himself...not able to be sensitive or open to another option.

So, despite all of this sad news, - something will happen...Frustrated at 50 - you are not alone - hopefully some wise fox employer will see this and think...hmmmm....that's the attitude in looking for and offer you a job...I'm sure you would be great!

November 23, 2011 @ 11:07 PM

AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE

this article is MEANT to reach out to those in the age group listed in the article - 45 plus - it is meant for those " living " this experience and I wrote it so there should be a forum for us in this age and this battle, having a place to offer support and suggestions and maybe with some luck, a job contact. This is not meant for the twentysomethings - when you reach our stage in life and have worked your way up in the work world as we all have , only to find our worlds returning back to square one, where we first started out, then perhaps you will get it.
Please leave this article and comments to those in this age group that can really relate to this article and can offer there own experiences to the readers. Thx for understanding the purpose of why this article was written to begin with.

November 24, 2011 @ 6:13 AM

Irvine

@Frustrated at 50: Sorry, but this is a public blog and comments are open to all people. Respect that and respect the input other people have.

@In the hot seat. So you're a recruiter? Did you ever once ask if your industry MIGHT have something to do with all of this? I'm self employed but I follow the job market to get a gauge of what is out there. I can't tell you HOW many times I've seen recruiters post job ad's with a skill set that's simply impossible to acquire. I've seen ad's with things like "5 years experience with Windows 2008". 5 years work experience with a 3 year old product? Surely, someone that understands the industry would catch that immediately?

And let's talk recruiting and employment firms. I've noticed a distinct trend toward pushing candidates to incorporate. You and I both know the reasons, don't we. It simply moves the responsibility of collecting taxes, EI, etc off the employment firm and on the shoulders of the candidate. Of course most candidates don't understand the complexity of incorporation. Or dealing with the CRA. Or the need for T2's, etc. etc. And the end result will be a government that will clamp down on the industry & we will listen to your industry whine how "anti business" it is. As someone that IS incorporated I call it bu11shit.

@Greg: I find your comments unrealistic and rather cavalier to say the least. Can anyone start a business? Sure, I can go to Best Buy, get a camera and tomorrow I can start a photography business. Sounds easy right?

Except you ignore the reality that it's far more complex than that. When starting your first company you need capital. Perhaps it's money to buy a restaurant or a food cart. Or it's money to survive on while you're building a client base. You don't just open a business and expect to make 100K a year.

Further to that, what about things like incorporation? What about understanding tax laws & dealing with the CRA. And what about acquiring legal & financial advice?

And then let's talk about first differentiating between "self employment" and "owning a business". 2 different things. Can you make good money being self employed? Oh yeah. On the flip side you can also forget about paid stat holidays, labour laws & getting a weekly paycheque. If you're client doesn't pay you, you don't get paid. And what if you're sick or want holidays. Are you going to close your restaurant for 2 weeks? Or leave some dude in the cold because you can't replace his furnace until you get back from Mexico? When my client has a system outage, should I just tell them not to worry until I get back to work next week? AND, let's say you get successful. What about time off?

Finally, you claim that by starting your own company you'll never get fired on a "whim" by some boss. Really? Your clients are your boss and what's to stop them from firing you? I constantly read how "evil and nasty" business are. And people aren't? Ask any person that runs a service business that's had their client repeal an invoice and scratch off what they don't want to pay. Go work in a retail store and watch why/how people return merchandise.

I'm not saying there aren't perks to starting a business. But your post seems incredibly short sighted and cavalier & even has me questioning if you actually do own a business.

And we didn't even talk about the failure rate of new companies (around 80% in the first 5 years).

November 24, 2011 @ 10:55 AM

reply to irvine

irvine - in response to your issues with recruiters - I believe that they carry out the wishes of the companies that have hired them and sadly it would appear that many companies today seem to be hiring without benefits, often on commission , and the perks of having a real job like the old days are a thing of the past - salary, benefits, etc are few and far between - this is not decided by the recruiter but by the employer that HIRES the recruiter - don't blame the recruiter they are simply hired to do a job.

November 24, 2011 @ 11:34 AM

Irvine

@reply to Irvine: I understand that recruiters are the "servants" of their masters. But I'm not that quick to let them off so easily.

It's recruiters that have pushed to have candidates register a corporation or business. It's all about offloading the administration required with payroll (deductions). Of course they haven't INCREASED the wages they pay the candidate, have they? What they do is offer a "term" agreement where they shave off 4-5 bucks of the stated salary and that's to cover administration. This does 2 things

1. Limits the candidates that will apply.

2. Those incorporated candidates will wake up one day and realize "why do I need this recruiter when I can negotiate the deal directly". Start talking return contracts and you think the client is going to approach a recruiter or a known candidate?

PS. In case you aren't aware, recruiters generally charge a fee of 20-25% of the individuals salary. Good deal eh? It's almost as lucrative as real estate.

November 24, 2011 @ 1:17 PM

Jason

Oh, I get it, because I've gone through something like it. But I do not feel more sorry for you because of your age. I wish you luck in your job search.

My point, however, is that the 'system' became so ruthless somehow. Any ideas how? Maybe my 11 year old brother is to blame? Or maybe it's folks just like you. As in your generation. Take some responsibility as to why the economy is in the mess ya greedy buggers!

Also, I point you to the rules of blogging. If comments are to be restricted on this post, that's up to Mike.

November 24, 2011 @ 3:47 PM

faye

I thoroughly agree with this well written essay on the frustrations of 45 plus in search of employment. The difficulties are compounded by
how technology in the work place and the economy have impacted the situation. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront.

November 24, 2011 @ 3:54 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

As always, no comments will be deleted unless they contain specific threats against someone or information I deem unfit for public consumption.

Young and old alike may comment...

November 24, 2011 @ 4:01 PM

in the hot seat

Good discussion here! There needs to be more of this in the public eye.
Everyone is making great points.
It really shows how hard it is out there!!

Faye you made a good point about how technology has impacted the job world. I was having this conversation with my 20 year old nephew lately - its also hard for people with no experience - every employer wants experience - but no one will give them a job to get the experience- round and round - when I started working there were thousands of "entry level" jobs in corporations - even if it was just filing, stock room or answering phones...these were jobs that allowed people to get experience and, if they had a special spark, could move up the corporate ladder - these jobs have all been wiped away by technology - now candidates need to spring forth - perfectly formed - with the required 5- 10 years of precise experience...there were also jobs for more experienced staff- since there was work enough to go around...
today - thats all gone -

Irvine - i haven't had the experience of off loading or encouraging candidates to incorporate - I am guessing thats for contract jobs?? Contracts are another bane of society - a way of cutting costs so that benefits don't have to be paid...and yes, you are right - some recruiters do get a 20% fee...but it's a fair fee considering the work involved and the fact that there are no guarantees - it's commission...and as you say - nights weekends holidays etc......believe me - no one is getting rich on it...most companies hire you on " contingency" which means you only get paid if your candidate is hired -it is a cut throat industry - Companies will hire several firms to find candidates - you can not imagine the hours of work to find the perfect candidate ..yes, like real estate but without the the little contract that says you will work exclusively with one agent...its brutal...and then the frustration when the company announces they are "hiring from within"...it was just a scam to satisfy someone's whim or the dreaded purchasing departments requirement thathey source three suppliers....( thats a whole other topic - purchasing depts!!) ...it takes years of experience to develop clients, relationships with candidates. You hit the nail on the had when you described the frustrations of starting / running your own business - that describes it perfectly...people think this stuff just falls out of trees - it doesn't, it takes years...and blood sweat and tears...

For corporate recruiters - there is a lot of pressure from hiring managers to find impossible candidates - everyone wants 25 year olds with 30 years of experience...no one wants to train anyone - they have to come ( as I said earlier ) fully formed and perfect in every way...

and speaking of Corporate recruiting departments - I've worked in those too - A huge problem is that companies, despite claiming that they value thiere people and people are thier most valuable resource - hire the most junior HR people into jobs as recruiters- for the most part, it's an entry level job - these people have NO life experience, NO business experience, no idea of how the company works or any about strategy, they maybe have 2 -3 years working experience and no skill with people...so what do they do ...they look for people to whom they can relate and screen out those who remind them of their group of friends.... thats why companies are so homogeneous...they hire people just like themselves ...and if you are 24 and charged with screening candidates - the pile of "possibles" will be all 24 years old...it's really HR's dirty little secret...in fact, it should be just the opposite - only the most experienced people should be in charge of hiring if people really are that important... but this tells the truth...

There is a lot we could learn from this...

November 24, 2011 @ 4:49 PM

4x4 Time

@Irvine - Your comments on being "self employed" and "owning a business" are spot on dude. As a "Business owner" I am amazed at how few people know the difference between the two. That said, all in all, these days, I am glad to be a Business owner.

November 24, 2011 @ 6:18 PM

Anonymous

@4x4 Time: Once you own a business & go past the "self employment" label you morph into a manager versus someone that practices your craft. And of course you add in labour laws, WCB, etc, etc, etc. People think it's some easy meal ticket when in fact it's exactly the opposite. You'll never work harder.

@Jason Patterson: You are indeed correct when saying this is the world we built. The corporate world is a very ugly place & we are somewhat responsible. We bemoan how huge corporations treat their staff & clients. Great example: Today is Black Friday where millions will line up at multinational retailers to buy products manufactured in China. These same folks then gripe and bitch they don't get paid enough/have a good job.

Same people claim they want to live in a "community". Same people don't seem to understand that business is part of the community. Then again, is that surprising given the definition of community seems to be a sprawling cookie cutter suburb likely named after the animals that once lived there (but were destroyed when the buildings came in).

We made this world. We forgo buying our products at a locally owned business (where we are people, not numbers) just to save a penny. And we claim we hate being puppets in the system but we are active members of it. I'm not sure what the answer is because I don't have it. But it reminds me of the lyrics from Corb Lund's - This is my Prairie

I can't blame the riggers or the guys drivin' truck
For feedin' their families and makin' a buck
But take a close look at the stock that you own
Cuz' this is my prairie, this is my home

I don't got the money that lawyers can buy
I don't got my own government's laws on my side
But I got this old rifle that my grand daddy owned
And this is my prairie, this is my home

November 25, 2011 @ 10:53 AM

Irvine

Sorry, I wrote the above.

November 25, 2011 @ 10:53 AM

in the hot seat

Irvine - what are you sorry for ...this is GREAT conversation...one of the best have been involved in lately!!

and Anon...you make a GREAT point - every time someone walks into Walmart or any other retailer looking for cheap Chinese goods...they have to take responsibility for the situation we are in...every time they make that purchase they have sent money to a foreign country and undermined a local job...how are businesses supposed to survive when people want some thing for nothing?? My brother used to own a charming bookshop in a small town in Ontario - it was meeting place for locals - they served tea...but when Walmart opened in the larger town twenty minutes down the road and offered books at 30% off - they couldn't survive - people just drove on by looking to save that .30 on the dollar...but they were buying it from some Canadian shmoe who was making minimum wage and only working 4 hours a week... so was the winner??? was the .30 worth it?? th elittle main street of that town is completely shuttered now - everyone drives to Walmart - people vote with their feet and wallets - we are CHOOSING to be a third world nation...

the workers in China are just a step above slavery - and in some cases we know there are slaves making goods that we buy...what's the answer?? Walmart in Germany failed - because people there go for quality - not quantity...


November 25, 2011 @ 12:25 PM

Irvine

@in the Hot seat. I wrote sorry because I posted as anonymous (forgot to put in my name).

You are absolutely correct about the working conditions in China. The are nothing short of abominable & they do border on human slavery. Yet, we as North America's seem oblivious to that. And that doesn't even factor in the environmental argument. China is a country powered by coal. On top of that all the products produced in China are shipped by container ship. I have read that the 20 largest container ships in the world produce as much pollution as ALL the cars on earth. I don't doubt it either. Those ships use bunker fuel & the refining process is not complex & my understanding is there is no controls on the sulpher content of that fuel (unlike diesel).

Let me recommend the film "Last Train Home" if you want a view into the lives of those Chinese labourers that make the products. It's the story of the a family who are labours & the arduous task of taking the train home for Chinese New Year. The film explores the reality of the factories in Shanghai, etc. It's an absolutely brilliant & disturbing film.

You can find the film on iTunes and there are lots of torrents. I believe it's Canadian and it is subtitled.

November 25, 2011 @ 12:54 PM

Zelda

THIS IS A GREAT BLOG. I love it. You should change your name from fustrated to FABULOUS AT 50!!!!

Your are the Carrie Bradshaw of the over 45!

November 25, 2011 @ 6:38 PM

Miadahh

Hey, this should be a talk show...

November 25, 2011 @ 6:39 PM

Tell Tale

Frustrated at 50

And once you secure a job like Irvine has you can write to blogs on your employer's nickel like Irvine does.

November 27, 2011 @ 8:08 AM

Lillian

I agree u are fabulous at fifty, it's sad that people could be so mean you are only trying to make a living to support your family, you have put in so much work in finding a job I am sure you will find the perfect job,good luck,

November 27, 2011 @ 9:22 AM

AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE

Sogreat to hear this feedback from all of you! Question for you all - has anyone had any experiences job hunting, interviewing, etc that you would care to share - interested in hearing more about your experiences both good and bad. LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU ALL !!

November 27, 2011 @ 1:14 PM

Shane

Irvine, you only have such a judgmental position because you are not in the same situation as the writer. If you have never been in the same circumstances, you can not begin to understand the struggle that comes with being left without a job, while still having to support a family. Although all your points are valid, you have to understand that due to the fact you have never faced these circumstances, you are not in a position to place judgment. It seems as if you are being extremely ignorant.

On another note, very good insight provided in this article, I hope to see more articles similar to this in the future. It seems like everyone enjoys debating/discussing such a topic.

November 28, 2011 @ 1:06 AM

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