Over 45 & Unemployed

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September 3, 2009
I thought twice when blogging about this article as I didn’t want to be the "Debbie Downer" of our blog.  However, I really encourage you to read it.  While it is a little depressing chronicling Michael Blattman’s, a former Sallie Mae executive, job search, it is very insightful as to the realities of our current employment market.  And it brings up a few really good points.  Regardless of whether you want to call it age discrimination, workers over the age of 45 are facing the unemployed ranks for longer periods of time than their younger counterparts. 

Just based on reading the article (I obviously don’t know the intricate details of Mr. Blattman’s job search), it appears there are some things he could be doing to improve the effectiveness of his search.  Here are my thoughts:

  • Network – Mr Blattman has applied for 600 jobs online.  I talk to many candidates everyday who literally sit at home and apply for jobs on Monster, Careerbuilder and corporate recruiting websites all day.  While these sites can be great to find out who is hiring and hiring trends, focusing your search only on these job postings if very limiting.  Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job.  Re-connect with former colleagues.  Attend networking lunches.  
  • Have Confidence – Even if you have taken an emotional beating during the course of a job search, don’t let potential employers know it.  Mr Blattman describes telling an interviewer that he would take any job.  While that may be the case, who wants to hire someone who is desperate or has no self-confidence?  Not to sound harsh, but think about it from the employer’s perspective.
  • Consider contract work – While a permanent position is ideal for many, consider a contract or temporary position.  It can be a great way to get back into the work force and keep your skills sharp.  That’s Good HR  has a temporary services division and works with many job seekers who are in between positions. 

Last, at That’s Good HR, my focus is to provide assistance to individuals engaged in an Indianapolis job search.   Please contact me if you are looking for Central Indiana jobs or would like additional information regarding the above topics.