A Consideration For Older Workers

Good question

Does it make sense for a non-employed worker 5 years away from retirement to prepare for a new occupation knowing that there is:

  • no guarantee of a job after training is complete
  • no  experience in the new occupation to display
  • prejudice against older workers
Few sorrows in life beat being an employee in such an alienating job that she ends up in the hospital preferring death because of the stress. There are valid reasons to aspire to meaningful work where natural talents and passions will be applied to do the world, the company and the worker some good. However, a challenge presents itself to the worker who decides in the autumn of life, closer to traditional retirement, “not to take it anymore” after years of  “settling” or “scooting along the bottom” or waiting to be fired–again–. There remains the matter of proving possession of the requisite 3-5 years of experience.

This looks very much like the new graduate’s dilemma: how to get a job that requires you already have the experience when you must have had the job to get the experience? For students there are internships and apprenticeships to cover that “no experience” gap. Midlife job changers are now tapping into internships and experience building programs.

Few recruiters will ever touch that question.

Recruiters do not love dealing with the risk of career changers. After all, a recruiter cannot present a candidate who does not have the skill/experience package the company he represents asks for. Except for the “mavericks” in the field recruiters will be more comfortable with people who have non-messy histories in the same field/job as the potential new position.