Over 50 Job Hunter – Ageism: a personal opinion.
When did I cross over the line to old?
First of all lets get this straight. I do not “feel” old, therefore, in my opinion, I am not old. So why am I, in the opinion of others, classified as old at 50+? The government of this country says you cannot retire with full benefits until age 67. However, it is becoming more difficult to maintain your job after age 40, and even more difficult to find one to replace it. What is going on in this country? Why would anyone someone assume that I can no longer keep up just because I am over 50?
The government won’t help you.
I have some read great articles by very good media houses, and I have researched everything I can find regarding what to do. My research finds there is general agreement a problem exists, however there are no answers. Other than the EEOC, he government looks the other way. The EEOC passed the Age Discrimination Law of 1967 but it has no teeth. With every ruling for or against the EEOC, the corporate lawyers become smarter. Waivers become even more binding to encourage the acceptance of layoff and not sue.
Humiliation at its worst.
Losing your job, after many years working in the same place, is scary. It is humiliating and it is demeaning. You become a “less than” person, who was not quite good enough.
Life’s not fair.
What is so frustrating about this situation, is that it is becoming normalized. When you are laid off people respond, “Were you given a good severance package?” as if that fixes everything. Did I? Yes. Am I grateful to be among those that did? Yes. But this is not normal, and it is not fair. I know the litany. Life is not fair. I have heard it, I have said it and I have lived it. But the trend of laying people off when they get over the age of 40 will eventually destabilize the economy. Why? Experience is less important that pay. More experienced workers become unemployed. Companies become more biased in hiring older workers. Older workers who cannot find good jobs, run through their retirement savings before reaching retirement… The economy and the taxpayers pay for it.
Lawyers change the rules.
My situation could be so much worse than it is. I am certain I will be able to find a job for less money, or if I have to, start my own business What is happening in corporate America now is illegal. But the lawyers are good, and rules keep changing to make discrimination doable. In the long run this may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.
Corporate America wins.
My point however, is that I am not the only one. Corporations are twisting the rules to squeeze people out, and it is getting worse instead of better. Many who read this will sympathize, but say “this does not affect me”. True, maybe not now. But in certain fields at age of 40, with each year that passes, the odds are good you will be let go. This trend affects these people in the form of lost wages, lost health insurance, and lost retirement savings. People then become dependent on government just to live. Corporate America wins. Individuals and taxpayers lose.