There are a lot of talks about upbeat market, growth opportunities and booming market, especially in Asia. However, I still meet a lot of people who are under employed. And there is no wonder why many of the underemployed and unemployed people are the more matured workers who are aged above 45 years old.
Technology has advanced and many things have changed. Globalization created a lot of opportunities and challenges. The old mindset of getting a degree and climb up the corporate ladder does not work in most cases right now. Today, a degree is nothing special, and it is highly unlikely to stay in the job for a long period of time.
With the instability of the financial system, mergers and acquisitions, it is very common to get retrenched and lose your job. When the economy is good, people move up or move to another company for better prospects.
However, for people who are not as savvy with new channels of communications, they can be at a severe disadvantage. There is a high co-relation between unemployed, underemployed and the older workers. Almost overnight, many later-in-life employees were forced into the job market without the know-how to find and compete for scarce opportunities while decimated portfolios changed their retirement expectations. They want to work but countless numbers struggle to find and keep a job.
It is not too late however as there is no law stating that older people should not get on social media and network. According to the study, "just 13% of older job seekers had used online social networking sites compared to 28% of younger job seekers." Together with the stigma of older workers, it makes it harder to find a job.
I've talked to many older people who are out of a job, and many of them seemed to have impressive credentials. At the University Alumni Club, I met people who are in their 50's and some of them has PhDs and masters degree, yet they have lost their jobs and unable find one for more than 6 months.
There was much disappointment in the room, that with their vast experience, they could not contribute back to society. After meeting them and having some thoughts later, I decided that if they have participated more in social media and personal branding, they can share their experience and perhaps possibly expand their networks and find jobs.
There are a lot these experienced could learn about engaging with others in LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Writing blogs and contributing in articles could also help others and at the same time create more visibility and in turn get more opportunities.
-- Robin Low