Job Search

A recent comment made me think that perhaps I need to revisit the subject of the on-going, enduring, daily grind, job search for new readers.  Yes, I continue to look for a job, and to apply when appropriate jobs become available.  Iterating that search here would make for a dry and discouraging read and a rather depressing post to write.

Although almost all of my resumes and cover letters disappear into the postal system or, more commonly, cyberspace, without any response whatsoever, I did recently discover what happened to 2 jobs for which I applied.  I network online through Plaxo and LinkedIn and one of my contacts wrote to let me know that he found out that both jobs (Senior Project Manager positions at different companies) were filled by single people (without children) in their early thirties.  As he bluntly put it, “Sorry Babe – but they are cheaper (salary and benefits package) and have a longer shelf life than you do!”

Recent articles have shown that this is not a unique situation.  More and more older (over 50) unemployed workers are finding it extremely difficult to find a new job.  See for example quotes from the following stories – just a few of the many you’ll find if you Google ‘older unemployed workers’:

Older workers hit hardest by long-term unemployment  (MinnPost.com) which noted that only about 15 percent of jobseekers 55 and older found jobs each month in 2009.

For the Unemployed Over 50, Fears of Never Working Again (NY Times)

“After other recent downturns, older people who lost jobs fretted about how long it would take to return to the work force and worried that they might never recover their former incomes. But today, because it will take years to absorb the giant pool of unemployed at the economy’s recent pace, many of these older people may simply age out of the labor force before their luck changes.“

For many unemployed workers, jobs aren’t coming back  (LA Times)

 “Jobless Americans such as Mignon Veasley-Fields of Los Angeles don’t need government data to tell them that something has changed. A former administrative assistant at an L.A. charter school, she has searched fruitlessly for employment for more than two years. She’s losing hope of ever working again.

“If I were 18, I’d say, ‘I can bounce back.’ But I’m 61,” said Veasley-Fields, a dignified woman with graying, close-cropped hair. “It’s really scary. It’s like someone just put a pillow over your head and smothered you.””

And so on and so on and so on.  And in the meantime people are still being laid off – initial jobless claims for the past week were up again.  So, yes, I’m still searching – just don’t have any positive news to report.

As for writing a book, the owner of the smog check station where I took my car yesterday asked me to ghost write a book with him on the ins and outs of how to pass the smog test!  He figures we could sell it for about $6 a copy and split the profits.  This because he spotted my book on Bullet Proof Book Proposals on the front seat of my car.  So you never know.

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7 Responses to Job Search

  1. I quit my cubicle monkey job in 2005 to go back to college and get my BA, which I did in 08. I just finished my fifth week at a new job….in a call center. For less money than I made in 05, but without the $60K in student loan debt. I’m not bitter, no, I’m not. I’m pissed. But what can I do about it? Right now? Not much more than I already am and be grateful (the gratitude took about three weeks to attain) and just shut the hell up and go to work every day.

    J.

  2. Jay says:

    Jerry,
    Don’t go testing on a hot day! Sometimes the check engine light will go on if your gas cap is too loose & it is a hot day, or perhaps you purchased a gas cap that locks and the seal is still too loose. You might try putting the original gas cap back on during testing days or going to your dealer to purchase an original gas cap to be used on testing days. Hope this helps.

  3. Lynn says:

    Other freinds who were laid off or whose own businesses dropped to nothing 2 years ago either applied for Social Security retirement earlier than planned if they could(age 62) , went back to school for an entirely different career, or are still in deep water and trying to sell their homes at a fraction of the price they would have gotten three years ago, and below actual replacement cost. It looks to me like hoping to get a job like the ones they had, compensated at the previous level, has not worked for a single one. Even friends and family who were “retired” are having to change their expectations as investment income has decreased or disappeared entirely.

    Best strategy seems to be retrain and hope for an entry level job in a new field. Government jobs seem to be the most age-blind, and carry decent benefits.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Have you thought about ending the job search and instead switching to alternative forms of income?

    If you like to write, there are many freelance projects available, some which pay instantly on completion. One of my friends wanted to travel after college, so she does freelance writing while traveling internationally. Combined with her side business of teaching English, she even able to save a bit of money each month all while seeing the world making lots of new friends in many countries. Home cleaning, pet care, and child care are other service oriented businesses you can easily enter with very little start up capital.

    Delivering newspapers, holiday work for UPS, and telephone customer service from home are all easy jobs to get. They won’t pay much, but if you combined it with working hard at a side business you should have enough income to make a simple home for your family.

    Also don’t be afraid to have your children help you with your home based businesses. As a child, I loved packing and delivering Avon orders with my mom. She sold Avon in our neighborhood and taught me so many great lessons about customer service, marketing, and accounting. Her business inspired me to start my own businesses after college.

  5. Sara A says:

    I don’t want to be rude, but I am curious…

    At what point would you (or have you) consider widening your job search out of your professional specialty?

    At what point would you widen your job search out of the field you specialize in?

    At what point would you take any job, even minimum wage?

    I don’t want to pry, I am just curious how people are answering these questions…

    • Rebecca R says:

      I want to mention with kids a minimage wage job will not cut it. If you work 8am-6pm, you will have before and after school care which in my area is $100 a month per child, that would be $400 for boxcarkids.

      Minimum wage in my area if $7.50 an hour, at 40 hours a week, that would be $1200 a month before taxes, take $200 taxes and the $400 before and after care and you are left with $600 a month for rent, food, utilities, gas, car insurance, etc. It is impossible.

      Even at $10 an hour that would be $1600 a month, still $1,000 after taxes and childcare. Still not possible.

      I am a single mom so I have to count costs like these when looking for work myself. And if I work two minimum wage jobs, I need more childcare.

      Even without any childcare costs how can a family of 5 live on $1,200-$1,600 a month before taxes? Rent in my area alone is $1,200 for a small one bedroom. Fortionatly I have a house and it is $1,100 a month to pay mortgage, taxes, insurance, water, and sewer (I bought from my grandma), but still I could not pay all my utilities, buy food, and maintain car, gas, and insurance on the other few hundred dollars.

      Thanks!

  6. Jerry says:

    I could’ve used that book a few years back. I was driving to work one morning when my “check engine” light (which had been on for months and which would cost several hundred to “fix”) suddenly went out. I immediately called in late to work and pulled into the next smog check place I saw, because for some reason in California you cannot pass smog if that light is on. I was making just over minimum wage and it was less than two weeks before my registration expired.

    My car passed the smog check and I finished driving the remaining two miles to work. During which timer my “check engine” light came back on. Whew! Now I’m wondering if I could have gotten away with just covering that light with some duct tape.

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