Secrets of the Job Hunt


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Older Men Giving up on Job Market

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.


Shannon Seery said...

I saw this article too - I found it facinating. 13% is a huge percentage. I also thought that it was very interesting that about 8% of non-working men between 30 and 54 lived in households that had more than $100,000 of income in 2004. Thanks for posting about it!

Anonymous said...

Just finished reading this, wow! I too am a male 35 out of work. I thought I was weird or something but I have peers now. I had a white collar job and was let go/phased out. I now work at home and do anything to make money. This is a strange phenomenon, what the hell are policy makers doing? Don't we elect people to advance society? Sad, really sad. NAFTA kills jobs.

Anonymous said...

The "army" of displaced and disconnected may some day band together and wrest control of the federal government (and to a lesser extent state governments) away from the elite class, the BIG corporations and wealthy/powerful special interest groups.

Blue collar workers of the working poor demographic have competed economically with MILLIONS of illegal aliens for years.

Perhaps those sliding down the socio-economic ladder will now truly understand our plight.

Arise, citizens!!! Band together. The USA is in the throes of class warfare and the common people are losing.

Cast off those economic chains!!!

Do what so many of the Founders told us to do in their writings when a government no longer serves the masses of citizenry.

Anonymous said...

It's not just blue collar worker. I'm fifty and have a bachelor's degree in my field from a well-respected college. I've been struggling to remain self-employed since 2002. Some years it's been ok, but I have no savings and each month I'm at risk for losing my house.