A career in Washington, DC, means a lot of turnover, and so, at the tender age of 50, I was job hunting after leaving the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative towards the end of the Clinton Administration. Freshly polished resume in hand, I recall going through at least three different job interviews where the questioner probed for my age instead of focusing on my qualifications and experience. While I didn’t feel a need to hide how old I was – I certainly didn’t consider myself to be “old” – perhaps the interviewers were reacting to my head of white hair. Whatever their reason, it was disconcerting, to say the least.
The share of the workforce ages 65 and older is growing, but a new Public Policy Institute (PPI) report reveals that jobseekers in this age group continue to face challenges in their search for work.
After her partner of 30 years died, Marsha Wetzel, at age 67, suddenly found herself evicted from her home by her partner’s family. Luckily, she found a new place to live at Glen St. Andrew Living Facility in Niles, Illinois. All was going well until word spread that Marsha was lesbian.
AARP has led the fight for the rights of older workers in their relations with employers for decades, and in recent years has been building on its efforts to support older job applicants in their pursuit of career opportunities.
One of AARP’s experts, Laurie McCann, testified this week before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forum on age discrimination, and, as usual, Laurie deftly told it like it is. And how it should be.
Workers 50 and older face a hurdle that younger peers don’t: how to overcome negative stereotypes that paint them as much more expensive, out of touch with technology and less productive.
Older job seekers who were out of work at some point in the last five years found that tapping their network of contacts, reaching out to employers directly and starting their job search immediately rather than taking a break tended to be more successful in landing a job, according to a new report entitled “The Long Road Back: Struggling to Find Work After Unemployment,” by the AARP Public Policy Institute.
The following post is by an AARP member who wanted to share his experience in finding a new position. He requested anonymity for himself and his current and former employers.
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