Once upon a time…
…in a great land known as The USA, there were a whole bunch of people known as “Boomers” – in fact, there were almost 78 million of them! They partied hearty as youngsters, and worked just as heartily when they got out into what was known as “the world of work”! They worked and worked and worked, for many decades, and many of them rose to higher paying positions as a reward for all that hard work!
But alas, one day, The USA experienced a terrible “economic downturn” called The Great Recession, and as a result, businesses started closing up or getting rid of lots of their employees, so lots of people lost their jobs. And the people who were hit the hardest were the Boomers.
That’s because the Boomers were now getting older, and because they were making the most money at these companies, they were the first to get what was called “the boot” meaning a kick in the a** out the door so the company could save lots of money on their salaries.
Alack, when those Boomers tried to find new jobs, they had great difficulty because of a number of “factors” otherwise known as “myths” that employers used to keep from hiring them:
- Myth #1: Boomers cost more for health insurance (in fact, younger workers are more likely to get sports injuries, get pregnant, or have children in need of costly medical care)
- Myth #2: Boomers are too old to learn the newest ways of conducting business (in fact, Boomers were always learning the newest ways of conducting business, including being the first to use computers)
- Myth #3: Boomers don’t have the same energy as younger workers (in fact, Boomers are quite vibrant even at middle age, unlike any generation before them)
- Myth #4: Boomers will take the job and then leave in a year or two for retirement (in fact, many Boomers plan to work for at least a decade to come, and with Social Security set to raise its age for qualification to 67, even those who didn’t want to keep working will have to)
The saddest thing of all was that of all the people businesses could hire, the Boomers had the most knowledge, experience, and skill-sets, something that “whippersnappers” as the young workers were called, wouldn’t possess for another 20 years…. And Boomers were willing to work for the same salary as the whippersnappers if that meant getting hired.
Even a child could see that hiring a Boomer would be a really smart business move! Alas, children weren’t running the businesses…what a shame! They’d probably be run much better if they were!
Well, our fairy tale doesn’t have a happy ending…yet. 9 officials known around the land as “The Supreme Court” made it pretty much impossible to prove age discrimination, so the Boomers weren’t able to change businesses’ hiring practices that were really obviously discriminatory…another one of those things that the children could see…
But, there may be a happy ending after all! If the Boomers learn the facts vs. the myths, they can use that information to greatly increase their chances of getting hired! They can cover these concepts in their resumes and cover letters, and during the interview! They can show a prospective employer that they are the best thing for the company, not the worst! They can change what are called the employers’ “perception” about hiring an “older” worker by the way they present themselves!
Will the Boomers be able to do it? Well, we have about 20 years to go to find out.