September 9, 2014 Post number 200 and something.
There was a great opinion piece in the Globe and Mail by Margaret Wente this past weekend:
It's a funny and well-written article about being an older employee - and very timely for me right now.
I too am the oldest person in my workplace (well almost), and feel it keenly. Not just because I am old enough to be the mother of most of my co-workers...but also because I often feel irrelevant - like it's all over for me- and they all know it.
To be fair, most of the time I do feel like it's all over for me and I've started counting down to retirement in months rather than years. But recently a job opportunity has presented itself, one that I'm thinking about applying for. And for the first time in several years I find myself excited about the thought of work again.
The duties and responsibilities read like they are written for me, perfectly matched to my skill set and my interests. It is still government so will have those good benefits, but in a quasi-private sector area that might be a better fit.
So I got out the old resume and started working on it this weekend. and I realized how old I look on paper.
I graduated in marketing and communications thirty years ago this year. My resume lists jobs going back to 1984...it is shocking to realize that many of the people I work with now were somewhere between primary school and a glint in their dad's eye in 1984. Who think that 1984 is so long ago, it is like history....the world before computers and online dating.
So I deleted those early jobs and erased all the years leading up to 1987, hoping to come across about ten years younger. ..at least on paper, there's no fooling anybody in person.
I started thinking about how difficult it is to present yourself as an engaging...and engaged employee when you spend your lunch hours googling retirement financial planning tools and checking out how much less your pension will be if you retire in 80 months instead of 87.
Do people with a best before date of fewer than ten years even get hired?
I started over (in a limp, haphazard way) professionally three years ago, in my early 50's, can I do it again? Can I muster the enthusiasm, the professional polish and the blow-dried hair to get in the door?
So, I waffled about it all weekend and then today (coincidentally right after our weekly office meeting with the youngsters), I decided that yes, I do it have it in me to give it one more try. I mean who knows if I will even get an interview, but if I don't try, I'll always wonder...
So I will go out with a bang, perhaps a resoundingly humiliating one. But, to paraphrase Neil Young, better to flame out with a spectacular rejection than fade away in irrelevance.
wish me luck...and let me know if you have any tips for hiding about 20 years of experience.