07 November 2012

Exile on Main Street: Older job seekers feel unwanted


Six weeks ago Federal Employment Participation Minister, Kate Ellis unveiled the first national report into employment barriers for older workers, The 2011-12 National Survey on the Barriers to Employment for Mature Age People. Ellis was reported as saying the following; that 36% of mature age job seekers had experienced aged-related exclusion during job searches, that age discrimination during job seeking was "particularly prevalent" and that 83% of respondents thought age discrimination was an issue for mature aged job seekers.

Early last week those rock'n'roll youngsters, Sir Michael Jagger (69 years old), Keith Richards (69 next month), Charlie Watts (71) and Ronnie Wood (65), collectively known as The Rolling Stones played a surprise Paris club gig for 600 fans who got their hands on (the equivalent of $20) tickets earlier in the day via a Twitter message. By all accounts the Stones rocked the house and left the fans thrilled with the return of the legendary rockers, after a five year absence from the stage.

Like those lucky fans, I am sure that when the audience at the upcoming Stones' gigs in London (25 & 29 November) and New Jersey (13 & 15 December) watch the band celebrate their 50 years of recording together they will be appreciating the excellence of the performance, rather than making some pre-determined assumption about the Stones' competency based on the individual band members' respective ages.

If only it was so with employers.

For far too many older Australians, seeking new or better jobs, their experience is mainly one of Exile on Main Street; one our economy can ill-afford to have continue.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Ross

    I agree totally with your post.

    In recent weeks I have been told by a number of people when applying for roles that I have a fantastic CV and great experience but I am far too senior for roles that have the word Senior in the title.

    I have also been asked a question: “Don't you think it is time for you to move on and let someone else have a go? You've had a great career….let it go”

    It seems that my career is seen as dead. So, I thought it was only fitting to place an Obituary for my career on LinkedIn (purely tongue
    in cheek of course!) and let people know that this is far from the case!

    "OBITUARY – Tony Simms
    It is with deep regret that we announce the death of the career of Integrated Marketing and Communications Professional - Tony Simms. He enjoyed a career of over 20 years in the industry working for both agencies and as a key member of marketing teams.

    Recently Tony was diagnosed with a terminal condition called E; more commonly known as Experience. He sought immediate intensive treatment from leading specialists around the countrybut his efforts were in vain. His input is already missed.

    Fortunately, you will be relieved to know that rumours of the death of my career are greatly exaggerated!

    I am truly well (!) and well and truly ready to apply my healthy experience to a Marketing Communications challenge in either an Agency or a Marketing team.

    Please call and let's arrange a chat. Or if you know of other opportunities please pass this message on. M: 0431 152 051"

    In a tough job climate it is all too easy for anyone to become dispirited. It is even tougher for those who bring hard won experience to the table only to find that in many cases all that hard work they once thought would be valued reaches a tipping point where it is frowned upon.

    Isn't it about time for drastic change for a better future for all?

    Cheers

    Tony Simms

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  2. I agree. Some work needs to be done to change the attitudes of those who make employment decisions. I have a friend who, in his late 50s, was made redundant. He is very well educated and has a lot of great experience. It took him 18 months to find a job - eventually settling for a casual role in retail, rather than in his industry. I know this is not an uncommon experience for people in their 50s.
    I hope to grow older, and I hope to be employable for as long as I need/want work. Age should not matter.

    ReplyDelete