I’d been thinking about age and employment lately, and meaning to write about it. Apparently I was not the only one, since now I’ve seen this post that linked to this article on the same topic.
There were a few precipitating factors leading to this post. One was my most recent interview, with my part time employer, for a management job. The interview went badly, but I am almost certain I would have had to decline the job due to pay versus other factors. For that matter, I am perhaps unusual, contending with both advancing age and child care considerations. But still. The person hired, my new manager, is competent and suitable enough, but tellingly is 23, still lives in her childhood home, has no constraints on the schedule, and is at a place in her life where low pay for me is viable for her.
Another was my niece, 21, being a hotshot at her company, landing a promotion as if there was nothing to it.
Another was a friend, same age, bemoaning two years unemployed, feeling defeated. He held out hope longer than I did, and maintained technical skills better. And ones that had more hope of landing work than Mr. Generalist here.
, besides the economy in general and the 19-odd percent underemployment that’s clearly not subsiding soon, I remember several years ago when an uncle lost a high level job. He wasn’t that much older than me. Despite a tenacious search and some seemingly promising possibilities, essentially he never worked again.
I’m at a bad age to be uncertain about what I want to do! Seeing how hard it can be to find meaningful work if you’re sure and have targeted skills and experience. Not for nothing do I keep thinking my only options will be to piece together this and that, and/or to start/restart my own business and push it hard.
Am I mistaken about the degree to which it’s a problem?
Is it partly inherent to the capacity for energy and ideas fading with age, making you less appealing or able to succeed?
And isn’t it funny that this runs counter to my experience and education about hiring older workers: You get stability and wisdom that might be missing among the young. But perhaps that applies mainly to low level jobs of exactly the sort someone like me can’t live on.
I feel like I’m forgetting something here, but I’m up against a deadline, so off I go.