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Job Hunting, Jobseekers' Perspective


When I go bike riding I often listen to music by the 70s rock group Eagles. There is a song I listen to quite frequently, called “Get Over It.” It helps me remember to keep my mind on the positive side. Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the writers, didn’t pull any punches!

      “You‘re making the most of your losing streak,
      Some call it sick, but I call it weak.”

Yesterday a coworker sent me an article about changing careers after 50.  I felt that the article was well-thought out and researched. But from the scathing comments that followed, you’d think she had just told all mature jobseekers to go jump off a cliff.

“…I think the writer of this article needs to get a GRIP…”

“Did anybody note the photo of the author? Maybe 30 yo at most?”

“Does this writer really think that the average over 50 job seeker is ready to “give back” When in reality everything they have worked so hard to build has been taken away?”

“…At your age, you have NO clue what it’s like to be over 50 and unemployed.”

These people cry they are victims of age discrimination, so they throw out some age discrimination of their own. How is that fair? More to the point, how is that helpful?

I’m no spring chicken. The varicose veins and deepening wrinkles, to say nothing of the invading silver on top, are all a constant reminder. And while I currently pull a paycheck, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been there as well. I have been- twice in the past few years. And I am threatened with another looming layoff. That’s the danger of being in public service during rough economic times: government cuts are always in demand. And my job is always on the line. So I have to continue honing my own job hunting skills while I help my job seekers develop theirs.

One thing is certain in an uncertain time: if I allow a negative attitude to invade my thoughts, I am sunk. As I heard a counselor at a local college say, “Employers won’t hire a problem. They hire problem solvers.”

Do whatever you can to keep your attitude positive. Seek social interaction. Practice positive affirmation. Allow yourself to have some fun once in a while. Do whatever it takes. Don’t allow yourself to lose faith. It is monstrously hard, I will readily admit. Most of the jobseekers I work with have been out of work for over 2 years. But they are getting back to work. It just takes time, a lot of work, and a LOT of energy. Negativity drains that energy. So if you feel those black thoughts creeping in, if you feel bitter about how the job search is going, if you want to blame someone for discriminating against you, if you find yourself lashing out at people who are trying to help you, may I borrow the two-word sermon I heard effectively taught recently: STOP IT.

Or in Don’s words, get over it!


Stay Positive! (kimberlyjmyers.wordpress.com)


About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.


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September 2012
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