Unemployment is hard enough to deal with for all workers. Yet there are additional issues and challenges for older workers seeking jobs. Employers are less inclined to hire a person who may retire soon, resulting in job turnover they wish to avoid. Job skills may not have kept up with the changing times over the years. Older workers who have been out of work due to raising a family may have a hard time convincing an employer they are willing and able to work. Let’s examine some of the key unemployment issues for older workers.
Lack of Confidence and Motivation
Older job seekers report that they feel discriminated against. Interviewers ask questions regarding their ability to remain with the company due to their advancing years. They have heard interviewers express concern about the cost of training older workers who may leave. Office technology has advanced at a faster rate than job skills have so that workers may need to return to school to learn those skills. Older workers report that the feel they cannot afford the time or cost to return to school and not know for a certainty they will get a job.
For some who have applied for jobs and participated in many interviews, there is the loss of confidence and motivation to continue to job hunt. After so many interviews and feeling rejected, whether due to their age or lack of skills, older workers are more likely to drop out of the job market and begin early retirement. Early retirement may sound great to younger workers, but the cost of living for retirement earlier in life can be exorbitant resulting in becoming poor and relying on government assistance.
Selective in Job Choices
Older workers who have worked all of their lives may be more selective in which job they are willing to apply. An office manager who knows how to manage people well may apply for office management jobs, yet not have the skills needed for current office technology.
Another issue about selectivity is that the older workers may not be willing to a job that pays less they feel their work experience affords them. They may need to lower their standards at least initially to get in the door, and then seek higher pay once they prove themselves as being viable and reliable workers.
Age Discrimination is a Reality
Younger managers may not see the value older workers bring into the workplace. Older workers tend to have better work ethics and higher reliability than younger workers who may jump from job to job. Older workers will need to be trained either in office or in another training method to use current office technology. Younger managers may feel the cost for training is not worth the risk of an older worker retiring in a relatively short time. There may also be the misperception that older workers are slower and less likely to accept change in today’s ever-changing business environment.
Older People = Value in the Workplace
Older workers, especially in the current era, have value in the workplace. They are part of the generation that created the current social and business environment that younger workers are able to freely enjoy. Older workers can influence younger workers to develop a stronger work ethic. Finally, older workers are dependable and reliable because they know they are perceived as dispensable, and don’t discount the life and work experience that they bring to the table!
Please list other incredible attributes our seniors can bring to the workforce below.
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