Nearly five years ago I was made redundant. This was after 30 years working in Financial Services. I have experience in Retail and Business Lending, Insurance, Financial Planning, and Superannuation. Despite this experience – and about 1,200 job applications – I’ve found it impossible to find full time work.
I’ve lost count of the interviews and Assessment Centres I’ve attended – I can only say that nothing I do seems to improve my chances of getting work. The reasons for rejections are nearly always vague – ‘other clients more closely met the requirements of the position’, ‘our recruitment software deemed you unsuccessful in obtaining an interview’ or ‘management decided to go another way’.
I’ve had my resume reviewed by experts. I’ve had my interviewing technique examined. I’ve attended coaching clinics and workshops. Yet nothing has improved my ability to get a job.
So, what is the problem?
Friends and family have suggested that my age is an issue. While employers are unlikely to say that this is a drawback, I’ve attended Assessment Centres where I’m twice the age of everyone else. A potential employer is unlikely not to notice this, and perhaps doubt my ability to work at the same capacity as a younger person.
Could it be my weight? My thinning hair? My sexual orientation (at least one employer has asked me this question)? Could it be my interest in poetry, Bob Dylan, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Whatever the reason(s), after nearly five years of unemployment, I have reached a stage beyond desperation. I can imagine a future living in the wreck of my car.
Please note that I write this entry not in search of sympathy, but as an indication of the difficulty that older people face in obtaining regular work. Despite policies to the contrary, there is obviously discrimination when it comes to employing over 50’s.