Anyone see that article in the NY Times yesterday? Men Not Working, and Not Wanting Just Any Job.
It's about how older men, particularly those in the 40s, 50s have given up on finding a job. Even though they could get a job - albeit a lower paying one.
Doesn't surprise me that this is happening. I am surprised however by the sheer number of men like this. According to the article, "Millions of men in the prime of their lives between 30 and 55 - have dropped out of regular work. They are turning down jobs they think are beneath them or are unable to find work for which they are qualified, even as an expanding economy offers opportunities to work."
The article goes on to say that about 13% of men in this age group are not working. Thats about 4 million men.
A couple other snippets from the article stood out.
~ "Many of these men are former blue-collar workers with no more than a high school education. But their ranks are growing at all education and income levels. Refugees of failed Internet businesses have spent years out of work..."
~ "These are men forced to compete to get back into the workforce, and even then they cannot reconstruct what many lost in a former job. So they stop trying."
~ "Many of these men could find work...but with lower pay and fewer benefits, and they have decided they prefer the alternative. It's a significant cultural shift..."
This article really magnifies the changes taking place in today's job market. For many older workers it's a huge reality check as they drain their savings and mortgage their future.
For younger workers it shows that you must always be thinking about managing your career. You can't just go out there and hop from job to job. You need a plan - one that takes into account what skills and experience will be needed not just a year from now but 5, 10 years down the road.
The biggest piece of advice I can give in this regard is ABL - Always Be Learning. Constantly strive to improve yourself in every facet of your job. Make yourself invaluable so that you don't end up like the men in that article.