Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Shrinking job opportunities for seniors

Climbing up the career ladder, gives a person more experience and brings in more wages. But the flip side is higher one goes, narrower become chances of getting hired. My impression is not based on any research, but on purely anecdotal evidences.

One tends to find more job openings for younger people. The younger crowd tries to experiment  and explore different careers. There is a lot of churning in that level, and naturally, job vacancies keep coming up in the lower rungs of an organisation.

In the middle and senior levels, many people tend to stick on to their jobs. They are averse to taking risks since they have various commitments like expenditure for their children's education, many loans which they need to pay back monthly etc.

Another reason is that employees at lower levels are paid lesser. There is a heavy cost burden when organisations recruit staff at higher levels. So, the probability of getting hired at senior levels become lesser.

Seniors tend to come to an organisations with a heavier baggage than juniors. They might also be less amenable and flexible, compared to a junior who might be willing to experiment and learn.

The seniors are usually counted for their experience, broad perspective, insights and ability to make very informed and mature decisions. In this context, a news item that I read a couple of month ago, comes to mind. 

A Mumbai-based startup, Truebil, which is a virtual market place for pre-owned cars, is hiring interns who are over 60 years of age to work at middle and senior level managerial positions. Two advantages here: one, helping elders understand how new, niche technology works; and two, putting their maturity and experience to good use to mentor the employees of the startup who are mostly in their mid-twenties.

But all said and done, as we grow older, we need to understand and accept the fact that we have had our heydays; and that there are younger, brighter, smarter men and women who would be more efficient. 

But, if someone wants to count on our skill sets, maturity and experience, like that startup, we are always there.

18 comments:

  1. I remember the interview I had after my superannuation with a top functionary in a thriving company with seeral businesses and the first premise he stipulated before comnencing the interview was that once a person is superannuated, his worth stands depreciated by 50% notwithstanding the responsibilities handled and weighty experience!
    He added for good measure that qualified youngsters are available dime a dozen. With that jab he punctured whatever ego I had.
    Oldies are employed more on compassionate grounds for several reasons and at much reduced compensation.

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    1. Thanks, KP for that personal insight into employment opportunities post-retirement.

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  2. Very interesting topic. There are pros and cons in hiring mature people. They have years of experience, less training required, and they are more responsible. However, mature people cannot cope up with today’s technology and they are less flexible.

    If some senior citizen is looking for a low level job in places like Walmart, it is easier to find. But it is difficult to find high paying jobs. But one thing is certain. If a senior citizen is a known expert in a certain field, he/she will be sought after by many companies to be their consultant.

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  3. I refuse to accept "brighter" and "smarter" when talking about the youth. Not that they're not smart, but with age comes experience and wisdom. The younger generation needs to gain experience and then they'll have the knowledge that comes with age.

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    1. Very good point. Wisdom is something that comes with age and experience, and very often that is a perspective a workplace needs. Thanks, Liz.

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  4. I think it depends on the field you work in Pradeep - younger, brighter, faster works well in jobs that are high tech, but when it comes to jobs that are about people, the older, wiser, more patient, more disciplined worker still has a lot to offer. I work for a surgeon and I know that my maturity was a key factor in being chosen for the job.

    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I've shared this on my SM
    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au

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    1. Yes, each job has its own dynamics. Thanks, Leanne.

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  5. That is a topic of interest around the world I think. Sharing your perspective is helpful. I worked in school education for over 40 years and was valued as an older, more experience educator when a University engaged me on a contract to teach Masters of Teaching students. I think the fields of employment may be a factor for some. Denyse #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks, Denyse. Yes, some professions do value the contributions of seniors and experienced people.

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  6. Youngsters may be fast and adapting, but they can also be reckless and impractical. Any organization that hopes to be around longer needs both - especially elders advising youngsters on crucial decisions.

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    1. Yes, Rajesh. A good mix of young and experience is ideal.

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  7. Interesting subject. What the youth really have is the promise of tomorrow. With age, our tomorrows start to dwindle.

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  8. Your post is so true. There are few job opportunities where maturity is looked for it is more about young and fresh. Of course the company usually doesn't want the pay the price for the older mature person.

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    1. Yes, emoluments for a senior person tends to me more. Thank you for your comment.

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  9. My dad retired about a year and a half ago now (he worked in senior management on mining projects) but has recently started looking for part time work again. He has found it very difficult to find anything though and I think that, sadly, it is probably because of his age. It does seem to be the case that younger people have more opportunities, despite their lack of experience. You can kind of see it from the perspective of the employer - younger people obviously have more years of work ahead of them and are perhaps more easily moldable - but it is a shame that years of experience so valiantly earned can be so easily overlooked. But possibly not the case for all jobs, only certain areas.
    Hannah from www.womanontheway.com

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    1. Thank you, Hannah, for your comments. You are right, it's a quite a paradox that people who have lots of experience are not preferred as youngsters who might not know so much as elders. Ya you are right, some employers do give the weightage to seniors.

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