Today's job search is a difficult process. If you're currently out there looking for work, you know the roadblocks, frustrations and daily grind involved in finding a new position. Plus, if you're over 50, you have additional hurdles to overcome. Age bias is real and all too prevalent in the job market. Nevertheless...
The allure of starting a business is strong. That's part of the American dream for many, especially those in their 50s and older who are looking to leave their lifelong jobs in the corporate world or retire from a small-to-midsize company. The reality is that 27 percent of start up businesses fail within the first year and are at continued risk after that first year.
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.