Employment Job Opportunities - A Challenge For Older Unemployed Workers

Suffering a lay-off or losing a job can be a devastating experience for anyone, but can be particularly hard for an older worker. Many people are living this experience and the unemployment rate has reached levels not seen in decades. The down turn in the economy has affected many different industries and few people have jobs that are safe. Older workers may have a difficult time finding other employment opportunities in a particular field.

The challenges facing an older worker, or one who has many years of experience are compounded by the fact that there are many, many younger people looking for jobs and employment opportunities in the same field. In my experience, there are four things that an older worker may have to overcome. These are age, experience, education and perceived salary requirements.

1. Age is a barrier to many jobs and some job offers. Some (I should say many) companies with an opening in a technical profession want to get the most experience they can for the least amount of money. This will sometimes cause them to fill a position with a younger person who might be able to do the job, but at a wage or salary lower than they would have to pay an older person.

2. The experience that a person gains from many years in a profession will make a job- seeker "over qualified" for many attractive positions. Experience is a two edged sword and most unemployed workers will have too little or too much. It is difficult to mask experience and be truthful on resumes and cover letters.

3. The time when a person could be a self-taught or self-educated professional is over. When I got in the work force many years ago, it was not uncommon to find non-degreed electrical, or electronic engineers and people in other technical fields who were considered to be experts. A college degree has become an entry-level requirement in many fields and has become a requirement looked for by many companies when a job opening is posted. Many times, a job needs list is created by a person who does not have a clear understanding of the skills required for a particular job and starts with an education requirement.

In our electronic age, when resumes and applications are transferred over the internet a lot of older folks will be removed a computer matching the resume with a job needs list and will not be considered even though they may be otherwise qualified.

4. Age and experience combine to create the third hardest thing to overcome, perceived salary requirements. Many professional people have been out of work for a very long time and many will be willing to accept lower salaries than they had just to get back in the work force. Many times, the salary is not as important as becoming a contributing member of society. A lot of professional people have taken low paying part time jobs or done pro bono or volunteer work with various organizations just to stay busy and occupied.

There are many things available. Joining some social networks, writing about your experience and staying touch with your peers is an important step in finding employment. Many older workers have experience and skills that are marketable and can lead to self-employment.

It is easy to let stress, anxiety and depression get the best of us when we are facing the challenge of unemployment. Successful people will accept the challenge and find ways to cope with them. The economy will improve, and the right job will come along. Until then, it may be necessary to look in other directions and find something that is challenging in a positive way that could lead to a satisfying career. The most important thing is to keep working at something, look for the positive result in your challenges and don't give up.

Marshall Crum has joined the ranks of the unemployed and is taking his own advise. He has been interested in self-improvement for a long time and has listened to and read material by some of the great motivational speakers. He enjoys writing articles about health and safety issues and other subjects of interest that provide help for people who are looking for ways to improve themselves. Check out his retirement website and see what he has done to combat unemployment and get leads and information about retirement as a career change.