Recently, I was contacted by an individual who was seeking a life coach. Apparently, he had already contacted several other area life coaches, but none would help him. When I asked why, he explained that as soon as he mentioned he was getting counseling and psychiatric care, they said they couldn't help. This puzzled me as I'm unaware of any rules or laws prohibiting talking to an individual seeking help.
I explained that I always provide a 30 minute window to talk to a potential client. The purpose of this is to see we might be a good fit, so I was happy to talk with him about his career or life situation.
So I listened.
With the economy slogging along, and more people competing for fewer jobs, many are concerned about whether they are at a disadvantage when competing with others. This appears to me to affect "older" workers more than most others. Many are under the perception that, because they are more experienced and typically at the top of their wage earning potential. The worry is that younger workers can work longer for less. While this might be true on occasion, I don't think it's worth worrying about, and here's why.
Folks in their 40's and 50's are truly in their prime working years. This is a time where they should be maximizing their income and capitalizing upon their experiences in their jobs. The thing is, these folks have another good 15-20 years of productive work left. As I see it, there are a number of obstacles in the way of folks who want to work for an employer rather than start their own business.
Potential employers appear to be extra cautious in hiring older workers. There is a lot of liability for employers who hire older workers. If they decide to let an older worker go, even for cause, they must take extra precautions to eliminate the threat of an age discrimination suit. Additionally, some folks perceive that older workers get short shrift because younger workers can get paid less.
Here are some suggestions:
As you may be aware, I like to encourage folks to pursue their passions, and to find ways to find an audience. Such an opportunity has come up for me for my coaching, but I need your help. It should take you less than 2 minutes.
Our local AM powerhouse, WBT, is hosting a contest for their next talker on Sunday nights from 6 - 8 PM. To participate, contestants need to create a video and get the greatest number of "likes" for their video. After contemplating this idea, I decided to enter the contest. We are in the voting phase of round 1 which ends on Thursday morning, 11/10/11 at 9:59 AM.
As a coach, and having taught workshops in churches, non-profits, and now at the community college level, I have seen many folks who are either in jobs they hate, or stuck trying to find work that is satisfying. That is one reason why I've been preparing a podcast to be called Cure For The Common Cubicle. This is also the concept for my radio show entry. I want to answer questions from listeners, and provide resources and information to help them. This is an amazing opportunity.
So here's how the contest works, and what I need from you:
We often talk about having a balanced with respect to our lives. I've taught this also in my coaching. For the record, I divide my life wheel into seven categories: Family, Career, Spiritual, Financial, Social, Physical, and Personal Development. Ideally, you or I will consider our lives balanced if we are finding our desired success in each of these areas. In one of the several stories I read following the death of Steve Jobs, it indicated that Steve spent his final days with his children, explaining why he hadn't always been there. The story indicated regret on Mr. Jobs' part. This is not an unusual story. I have no recollection of any successful man on his deathbed wishing he had just spent a little more time in the office.
Earlier this week, Bank of America announced that they will be laying off 30,000 workers! That's a mind boggling number to many. Also, a fourth "green-energy" company touted by President Obama has filed for bankruptcy. One of those four, Solyndra, laid off 1,100 workers AFTER receiving over $500 million dollars from taxpayers. August saw the creation of ZERO jobs. Are you discouraged yet? Should you be?
I say no, you should not be bothered by this news. At a meeting with another business owner this week, I stated that this should be looked at as a positive. Granted, I'm not Mr. Cheery-face all the time, but hey, this is opportunity here for everyone. In the area of employment and work, I seem to be learning how to look for positive things when they present themselves.