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Study finds that workers over 50 are highly vulnerable to job loss

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Replies to: Study finds that workers over 50 are highly vulnerable to job loss

  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32217 replies336 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,553 Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    It's something we were warned of, when we were younger. Not a surprise. For many of us, it does factor in our advice to our girls. No surprise.

    Not a lot has truly changed in our career lifetimes. More top execs are women, more older actresses employed. But still residual issues. When I was my daughters' age, my mother warned me I'd be lucky if things improved in my granddaughters' era.

    Great points @intparent.

    edited December 2018
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  • yourmommayourmomma 1318 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,319 Senior Member
    50 is a tough age. You become very expensive, not only salary but health insurance etc. But here's the thing. Employers don't look at age to make decisions. They look at value added. Are the getting the same value from the 50 year old as they get from the 30 year old? Many times the question is no. Many times the 50 year old is doing just enough to get by but is not learning new things as the working world changes faster and faster.

    I just hired a mid-50s guy to replace a mid-50s guy. I am getting the maximum value from the new guy that I didn't get from the other one. Why? Because the new guy is up on all the latest technology in our industry. Has a bunch of ideas and a better overall knowledge of what and how to do things. The other guy was just kind of there.

    So if you are older, take a self inventory. They can't teach experience -- you got that. How do you adapt that experience to today? That is the key. Make sure you are up on the latest and greatest, have the enthusiasm of a 30 year old, and add value to your organization.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3456 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,526 Senior Member
    In the tech world, 50+ people often get caught by a lack of current technical skills that one can fall back on. Not only that, so many companies rely on short term contractors nowadays as well. Always keep your resume ready, keep your skills current, and keep your options open.

    I was in a situation where I knew my company was shutting down, stayed on for almost 2 years after the announcement, and still wasn’t able to find a suitable position until 6 months after the company finally shuttered its doors.
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  • SilpatSilpat 1281 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,301 Senior Member
    We live in an at-will state. During the second half of this year my dh's former employer terminated/downsized or "retired" quite a few people over 50. Dh was lucky to get a nice parting gift, although its value has dropped significantly in the past few months. He also has pension benefits which most of his colleagues don't have since no one was added to the plan after a large merger years ago.

    The cuts are expected to continue in 2019 and some of his former coworkers are scared. They've lived high on the hog and now have children in college or due to begin college soon. Dh was sometimes razzed about our modest cars, his no-name suits and shoes and generally frugal ways. These guys expressed sympathy when he was "retired" and were stunned when he said he wouldn't be looking for another job or a consulting gig. They anticipate having to sell their homes because they're still mortgaged to the hilt, and are worried about how to tell their wives and children that big changes in lifestyle are coming.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 37365 replies2040 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 39,405 Super Moderator
    As structural engineers, DH and I have been susceptible to layoffs since the first day on our first job, when I was 24. :( I don't think SEs as a rule are more prone to layoffs as they get older, because experienced ones are so valuable. There are a lot of judgment calls to make every day, and younger engineers aren't nearly as good at those.

    We were both laid off several times during the 90s. Our first employer laid both of us off, along with 20 others, on the same day. Another time, DH was given a big Christmas bonus and then laid off five days before our second child was born in March. The job instability was definitely a factor in our decision to start our own firm. So we haven't been laid off in 20 years! :)
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18273 replies320 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,593 Senior Member
    @fendrock, I"m in the employee benefits field -- medical, dental, 401(k), all of that. And to be fair I didn't apply for the job I just got; a former [much much younger] colleague who works at this company called me in a panic. So it basically dropped in my lap.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32217 replies336 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,553 Senior Member
    Stereotyping. And before examining the work a person actually does or can do. Even this idea older employees don't keep up is is an assumption.
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  • yourmommayourmomma 1318 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,319 Senior Member
    "But here's the thing. Employers don't look at age to make decisions. They look at value added."

    We live in an ageist society and many people are totally unaware of the biases they bring to decisions. I think it is incorrect to chalk it up to older employees not providing enough "value added".

    Think about it. As you age and become more expensive to an employer you're value add has to go up exponentially. If I pay you $100,000 plus 40% which is the cost of benefits, you cost me $140,000 all in. If I pay someone in their 30s $75,000 + 40%, they are all in at $105,000. The 50+ needs to produce $35,000 more value than the 30 YO. You can't do this just keeping pace with the current trends. You need to outpace everyone else.
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  • MassmommMassmomm 3821 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,899 Senior Member
    A friend of mine has been looking for work for over a year. She's 60, with lots of experience and a degree from Wharton, but so far, no luck. Lots of interviews, but when they realize her age (her resume doesn't have the dates of her education and early work), I'm sure they pause and look for a younger candidate. It's frustrating because she has both wisdom and energy.
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