The job market is tough today, especially when you consider that the government's inflated and expansive definition of a 'job' includes part-time employment, temporary work and even unpaid work for the family. We hear a lot of tales about the inability of workers over 50 to get a job, perhaps in part because of their age.
It never occurred to me that I would be unemployed in mid-life. Well, yes, it had occurred to me when my tits were still perky and my mind malleable, so I went to grad school, got a Ph.D. and embarked on what was once a promising and stellar career. But after I found myself in the cross-hairs of those in institutional power, my carefully-constructed career came tumbling down.
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.
When I left a career in academia to pursue humor writing, there were plenty of outspoken and silent skeptics questioning my motives. Why would a 40-something woman with a Ph.D. (and a clinical psychologist at that) walk away from a steady paycheck? What kind of woman, after years of training and building a résumé in science, would shift gears and pursue a future in comedy? The answers were simple.
Opening a hit restaurant has got to be one of our most enduring reinvention fantasies. Paul Giannone is one notable boomer who has actually done it. His Paulie Gee's in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York opened in 2010, and has gone on to be one of the top-reviewed and most beloved new pizzerias in the New York area.
So many things had me start a business after turning fifty. I must have had something powerful hit me to work as hard as I did and want more. I am a college counselor and had an interest in everything college admissions, but it was more than that. I wanted to prove something to myself and the timing was right.
Over a century ago, a Parisian lawyer named Paul Gauguin chucked everything in the name of freedom and moved to Tahiti to become an artist. I don't know if Arnie Cogan is also an artist (he does list himself as a photographer...) but he is definitely a Boomer whose reinvention expresses the same quest for freedom.
Before taking the leap into retirement, we need to give a lot of thought to how prepared we are for 20 or more years without a paycheck. The most important question, of course, involves income and expenditures, those we can anticipate and those that are harder to predict, such as long-term care. And will there be enough left over to pay for some of the fun things we have been looking forward to?
Want to find work fast? Even more, do you want to land a position that pays well and you will actually enjoy? You're likely thinking that achieving the above is next to impossible. After all, older job-seekers hear more than their share of discouraging news. But the statistics cited in these pieces are generalities. In truth, there's a lot you can do to maximize your own chances for success.