So you’ve been “laid off, pink slipped, downsized, side-stepped”. If your employer does not have another position to send you to, you are just plain fired…short and simple! People use the above to soften the blow, so to speak. But if you see it like I do, it is just plain and simply “fired”.
That fateful day in January 2011, when my then boss “laid me off” as he put it, he had no idea the repercussions that would result. Too bad I could not put names in my book…my publisher wouldn’t let me. So I resorted to finding my own solution in a constructive way. As a result, I found that I was not alone.
As I travel to speaking engagements and sell my book, I met many different people and circumstances. One gentleman came up to me and told me he had been “fired” at 62. An attractive woman said she was “fired” 2 weeks before her 50th birthday. Another person was “fired” 2 days before their 50th birthday. – And the list goes on…
Through meeting these people and hearing their stories, I discovered that there is definitely a trend going on in our world today. I discovered that there are some companies out there who make it a policy not to hire anyone who is 50 or over. Based on my experience, here are the three key reasons why:
- Companies know that people over 50 tend to use their extended health plans more than younger workers, thus driving their monthly premiums up.
- Companies want to avoid paying pensions of any kind.
- Companies wonder “if we train this person, how long will they stay with us?”
Here is the “straw that broke the camel’s back”…The main reason that people over 50 don’t get jobs again is because the majority go into interviews with HR managers who are half their age and while they are being interviewed, they are thinking, “I could do her/his job ten times better than them!” Whether they want to admit it or not, it comes across in the interview.
I had the opportunity of speaking with a young, vibrant HR Manager, who was in charge of hiring, training, and developing staff in her department at a major hospital in Florida. Over time she has developed a unique way of interviewing people that brings out their true self. I was impressed with her technique so I kept prodding her with more questions. After all, I had taught a course at the local college on “Hiring, Training, and Developing Staff”. I was twice her age. She made me dig deep. I was humbled as I reflected on how I had interviewed for jobs after I was “Fired at Fifty”. I asked myself if I had been one of those she described.
Know what? I can honestly say that I did not think those thoughts when I was interviewing. I just wanted to pay my mortgage and keep up my car payments. I was willing to do whatever it took to fulfill my desperate needs financially…as long as it was legal, morally right, and non-fattening. I was willing to clean bathrooms if necessary. That’s just the way I am.
Does this provoke you to thought? Where have you found yourself if you were “Fired at Fifty”? Are you one of the thousands who have not been able to find work? Would you like some ideas on how you can monetize yourself and become your own company?
Are you a “Wuss or a Warrior”?