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My brother just lost his job
Old 09-29-2011, 09:00 AM   #1
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My brother just lost his job

Just got off the phone with my brother. He got laid off. He's younger than I am but >50, much smarter and better educated, and held a senior position in a small division of a medium size corporation.

He is still fortunate, they do not live beyond their means, do have a substantial rainy day fund, positive equity in the house and the mortgage is reasonable. His DW works and his daughter just began graduate school (but chose a fully funded lesser rated option over the "top program in the country" school).

The US is a tough job market for middle aged and older people that work or want to.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
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The US is a tough job market for middle aged and older people that work or want to.
Indeed. We're sorry to hear the bad news and hope your brother finds the new path he's looking for, the sooner the better...
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:11 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear this, Michael. I hope he can find something else soon.

If not, unemployment compensation may help. It lasts much longer now than it once did.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:20 AM   #4
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Losing a job is rarely easy to weather but getting let go in your 50's is about as tough as it gets when it comes to employment. Tough situation even though it sounds like he's in far better financial shape than many. Hope he finds employment quickly.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
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He lost his job once before, after being on the "winning" side of a business that grew by buying up rivals. After >10 mergers where most of the merged were fired, he was too. He learned from that, built up his savings, and when he found a new job that required a move, bought a home that was affordable and did not take out equity during the craze. This will be tough but I'm sure he find his way and we will help if needed.

He's not sure what he will do. He's certainly not ready to retire. The unemployment comp extension will help. I have a close friend who has her own business doing specialized recruiting. Won't help much here because the specializations don't match, but I'll call her tonight. She has made many observations to me how hiring companies effectively identify and filter out older candidates.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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sorry to hear, scary how vicious the job market has gotten for good people because they are over qualified, and not deemed long term viable...i.e. over 50........
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:26 AM   #7
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Networking is still the best way by far to find another job as far as I know. But having hired people for the past 20+ years before retiring recently, I hope he takes advantage of all the online methods like LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, Twitter and/or Facebook and others. A lot of firms never use newspaper classifieds, or unsolicited resumes at all anymore - we certainly didn't. Any candidate who appeared all uncomfortable with using a PC, Internet, technology wasn't of interest to us period. We didn't use recruiters often either, though in some professions it may still be essential. You probably know all this, just making sure...again best of luck, the sooner he starts the better.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:15 PM   #8
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Michael: I share your concern. I´ve got a brother, 53, economist, very hard-working. He may lose his job. He has been 6 months with almost half pay. It´ll be the second time, for the same reason: downsizing.
If you think that the States are going through tough times jobwise for the 50 something, imagine Spain, with 20% of unemployment.....
I´ve got a brother in law, 50 who´s been unempoyed for more than a year. And he is willing to work at anything.
Fortunately both their wifes have a steady job as civil servants. But, sadly, being in the civil service is not at all what it was in terms of security in every sense.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear that, Michael. Most companies seem to have already cut out all the excess employees, leaving the remaining ones to do the jobs of multiple people--hard to believe there was anyone left to get laid off! I'm sure it was still a shock and unsettling even though he and his family seem to be in good shape to weather the next few months. Good luck to them.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:10 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear about your brother . It's a really tough job market when you are older .
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:13 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear that, Michael. It's a tough time to lose one's job.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:46 PM   #12
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Sad story. Makes me think about all those folks (certainly not your brother) who expect to be able to find work in their 60s to make up for savings shortfalls. I think it will be harder than they think to compete with younger and cheaper workers for fewer jobs.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:20 PM   #13
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Sad story. Makes me think about all those folks (certainly not your brother) who expect to be able to find work in their 60s to make up for savings shortfalls. I think it will be harder than they think to compete with younger and cheaper workers for fewer jobs.
Unfortunately, laws to the contrary we all know age discrimination is rampant in employment, and all too often the sad truth is that someone thrown out of work over 50 might as well consider themselves "involuntarily retired."
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:31 PM   #14
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One strategy that might help with age discrimination might be to find a federal government job in his specialty, if such exists. At least at my (former) agency, I can honestly say there was no age discrimination or at least none that I could perceive, something that was not true at any other job I have ever held. I was 50 when I got my job there. Probably half of us were over 50 and very highly qualified.

Not to say that all agencies are like this, but I think he might have a better chance of being selected for a federal job than for other jobs. It does take time to go through the selection process sometimes; six months from application to selection isn't unusually long as I recall.

www.usajobs.opm.gov
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:54 PM   #15
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Networking is still the best way by far to find another job as far as I know...snip... all the online methods like LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, Twitter and/or Facebook and others.
+1

Sorry to hear about your brother. Companies are hiring, but many good/experience candidates looking so employers can be very selective.

For searching, add Dice.com if in the technology field. Also google jujusearch. Depending where he's located, suggest contracting/ consulting agencies. Talking to recruiters last month, companies are using alot of temp to hire situations by me.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:14 PM   #16
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He might think about finding a local career counselor. DW sees lots of people in their 50s who find themselves in need of employment or just a change and I think it can really help to talk to an objective outsider who can give guidance.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:32 PM   #17
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At least at my (former) agency, I can honestly say there was no age discrimination or at least none that I could perceive, something that was not true at any other job I have ever held.
I don't doubt it happens for a minute. We did not allow age discrimination in hiring at my former employer either (I wouldn't allow it). However, older candidates often self eliminated by asking for much higher salaries (typically $20K/yr or more, above market), trying to negotiate 4-5 weeks vacation and/or displaying non-existent computer/technology skills. Never flies, especially in this job market...
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:40 PM   #18
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I don't doubt it happens for a minute. We did not allow age discrimination in hiring at my former employer either (I wouldn't allow it). However, older candidates often self eliminated by asking for much higher salaries (typically $20K/yr or more, above market), trying to negotiate 4-5 weeks vacation and/or displaying non-existent computer/technology skills. Never flies, especially in this job market...
The quasi-gubmint entity I worked for in NYC routinely hired people in their 50s. It was a way to get skills they could not otherwise hope to touch at a price they could afford and in return they did not expect the kind of insane work schedule that would be required by an equivalent for-profit job.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:34 PM   #19
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We got together for lunch this afternoon. He is in good spirits and not expecting to return to the corporate world or his previous salary level. He'd like to not have to move, and has very good reasons which I support, but I imagine it would be an option given the right circumstances. In all of our conversations over many years gov't employment never came up, but he certainly has skills and education that should be valuable in public service. I will bring this up next time we sit down.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:51 AM   #20
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Sorry to read about your brother, Michael.
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