I wish each and everyone of you happiness and prosperity in your career and personal life!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Are you too old to get a job?

By Pat Meehan

As a baby boomer myself, at age 57, and even though I can do pretty well on this desk top computer I’m typing on, I don’t own or operate a blackberry, I don’t like laptops, and I never send text messages. I even have a cell phone that doesn’t take pictures, much less opens up Microsoft Outlook. I have no desire to get emails 24 hours a day. Yet, in 2009, the toughest economic year in nearly 70 years, nearly one third of my colleagues dropped out of the recruiting business. Believe it or not, most of them were much younger than me.

What does this mean in generational terms? I am not a social scientist but of my last five employee placements as a recruiter with my client companies, of which I get 25% of the new employee’s starting salary, three of those five placements were as follows:

- Purchasing Manager – female – age 59 – starting salary of $78,000

- Human Resource Labor Relations Manager – male – age 61 – starting salary $80,000

- Materials Manager - male – age 60 – starting salary $75,000

- Plant Accountant - male - age 58 - starting salary $40,000

Why did these three candidates get hired and how many people would give anything to have any of these jobs today? First of all, I submitted them to my clients with full knowledge of each of their ages. My clients looked at their experience, interviewed them and hired all of them. In all of the, “off the record” conversations, I have with my clients, age was never mentioned in the entire interviewing process in all three cases.

In the early 1990’s the unwritten rule was that the 30 somethings and the early 40 somethings got hired in the management jobs. Why? Because of the entire employment population there were more 30 somethings and early 40 somethings than any other age group (baby boomers).

Today the 50 somethings and early 60 somethings are still 45% of the total workforce. They have more experience than those who will follow them , … a new phenomenon in the baby boom generation.

You, as a baby boomer, are worth your weight in gold today if you choose not to be your own worst enemy by telling yourself that you are too old. I won’t try to talk you out of that. You will have to learn it for yourself.

Good luck on your Interview!


Shallie Bey said...

Pat, thanks for a great post. You prove that there are opportunities for people who want to continue their careers in corporations. This is a perfectly reasonable dream for many people. Though I am a big advocate for baby boomer entrepreneurship, I am the first to admit that we all want people to realize their dreams. And the truth is that entrepreneurship can be a nightmare if that is not your heart's desire.

Thanks for the great job you are doing to encourage all baby boomers.

Shallie Bey
Smarter Small Business Blog

Pat Meehan said...

Shallie, thanks for your comments. You, too are doing great things for all the Boomers!


jenniferarndt01 said...

Pat this is so inspiring! I just read another great article about starting a second career later in life ... 5 Steps for Starting a Second Career. It's never a question of whether your too old but more a question of if you have the drive and determination to take such a big step later in life!

Pat Meehan said...

You are so right Jennifer. Thanks for you comments and the link you provided.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

Very good. I'm a little older and get lots of email and I'm using a laptop on a wireless network. I'm not good with cell phones either. I started sending texts last year! I think we have knowledge and experience. My brother is 55 and teaching teenagers and says most are illiterate and no very little. He is trying to give them work experience on a training scheme and it's difficult to keep them under control as a group.

I think as a writer I can still contribute but age discrimination still exists. It's not just age though, I was sick a long time and people worry about that; just a gap in my resume. I think they also worry we may drop dead at any time and any investment they put into us will be wasted! I'm going to be writing for another 20 years with any luck!

I can keep up with a lot of young people and mentor a lot of young people mentally; although physically I have no chance. I have to find someone to mow my lawn tomorrow! lol.

Good blog.

Michael Maynard, (Here from LI)