By: Rana Goodman
Several months ago I wrote a feature dealing with our generation and tabbed us “the Disposable Generation.” Now it seems we, those of us not wanting, or affording to be retired completely, are also among the “unemployable generation.”
We are not alone in that grouping however, move over for the 45 year olds and up too, because they are right in there with us, according to e-mail I have been receiving from our Vegas Voice readers.
In light of this chatter, I reached out to friends and family that lost jobs and some that wanted to switch jobs in the past years or so and was surprised and the education I received.
While I was in business, each time I wanted to fill a position, I will be the first to admit I was somewhat prejudice in my interview strategy. For sales I wanted someone preferable over thirty with an outgoing personality. I wanted them to be dressed professionally when I met them. I also insisted that they spoke well. For sign labor, younger was fine, clean in appearance, had to be handy with tools and male or female, they hand to be a quick study in learning how to make signs and do sign installations. The one thing I would not accept was resumes sent via e-mail, if someone could not be bothered to take the time come and meet me face to face, I didn’t have time for them either. The one time my shop ended up with an employee I would never have hired was while I was out of town and my daughter hired a secretary/right hand girl for me. I came back to meet a young woman of 20 dressed very “retro” with a piecing in her tongue, white blonde hair, and bright red lipstick. At first glance, the bubble above my head read “Michelle what did you do to me?” As things worked out, this young woman was the most amazing find ever. She was not only sweet and courteous to my clients, but was the most organized and efficient person I have ever met. Gee! I’d love to have her helping me out these days.
I know things have changed in the past 12 years since my retirement, but here is the way it is today. One man who contacted us is 45, has a degree in business management but had a stroke last year and it affected his speech. While he was hospitalized, then recovering he lost his job.
It took almost a year of searching for him to find another, and in that time he applied for all kinds of jobs including driving a medi-bus, where the job requirement included being able to perform CPR and other medical training, along with helping patients on and off the van. Finally, after more than a year, the only job he was able to get was driving a truck at Home Depot for minimum wage. I guess one might say, at least he has a job, most places he applied the response was “you are over qualified.”
Over qualified, to me that means sorry you are too old! We all know when we apply for a job that is beneath what we have been trained to do, we are qualified to do so much more. The point is, if we want to eat, pay the mortgage, buy our medication, feed our family, we need to work or go one the “dole.”
In my opinion, many of our generation would agree that pride gets in the way of that unless there is absolutely no other way. We really don’t need to be told we are over qualified. We need people to realize that with age comes knowledge that should be utilized not thrown away.
“New brooms do sweep cleaner than the old” but there is really something to be said about those “really comfortable old shoes” too!