If you don't work in the industry, you might not "get" why someone would spend cash on learning about older people. But if you're in the private sector, I recommend that you have a change of heart. I know that growing older is not an attractive phase in our culture, and the general public would rather ignore it altogether.
I am 65, and for the past four years, HuffPost's office in Los Angeles has been my work home. I am the oldest soul in the building, something I've grown used to. I happen to like my officemates -- and believe that that affection is reciprocated. But without a doubt, being the oldest comes with distinctions -- and life lessons.
You know how dogs do that stiff-legged resistance thing when you try to drag them through the door to see the vet? Well, older workers are apparently doing the same when it comes to retirement. They are digging in and not budging, much to the chagrin of companies that would like to be rid of them and their higher salaries.
He remembers the exact date -- November 30, 2008. That is when Hue Galloway of New Britain, Connecticut was laid off with just a week's notice from his job repairing printers and computers throughout the state. His annual evaluations, he said, had been good -- 30 years of experience and 'never a bad review,' but that didn't keep him from being let go without any real explanation.
Without question, there is an age bias out in the hiring market. Job candidates over 50 (who fall into the Baby Boomer bucket right now) definitely have a few hurdles to overcome. Some valid, some not. Here are some of the reasons that I believe influence companies when considering older job candidates.
Work sharing has obvious benefits for the workers who would otherwise have been laid off: they aren't forced to look for work in a weak labor market; they maintain their skills; and they suffer relatively little lost income. They might even use their downtime to acquire new skills. Employers benefit, too.
Are you over 50 and working for a company that pays you a solid full-time wage, plus benefits? If so, I probably don't know you. Certainly, you're not one of my LinkedIn contacts. Because when I scroll down that list, it turns out that almost every 50-plus person I know is self-employed, a consultant or a 'freelance professional.'