Anyone 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!!!