However you look at the unemployment rate right now for the U.S. (I know globally the stats are not good either) many of us are going through some tough times together right now (http://www.bls.gov/cps/). I’m sure there are Historians and Futurists out there who can give us their analysis of the situation right now and the many changes that are occurring but what I want to speak to in this post is how many of the rules seems to be changing as well.
The rules I am speaking about are the intangible situations such as because we humans have figured out how to take care of ourselves better and in spite of our medical expenses and insurance crisis we are living longer. To top it off the fifty year old of today really is noticeably different from the 50 year old of even a generation ago. Being of better health and living longer is probably a good thing to since the social security benefit plan that was laid out for our parents is now being deleted pretty fast by the first wave of the baby boomers who have reached retirement. Even with that, because of the economy most of the baby boomers who could of retired are having to stay at work longer than ever before.
So then we run smack dab into several facets of the rules changing in mid-air. Simple things like a resume are having to be completely revamped especially if you’re an older worker. Gone are the times when length and stability with a company is respected. I’m not bitching here, I’m just stating what I’ve seen and experienced. The good news is that if ever there was a population of people who could shake their heads and get on track with all of this, it is the baby boomers. I was only 10 when Woodstock was going on, but I remember the electricity in the air with all the changes happening then too. I have often wondered if many people who were exploring life back then and decided at some point to “grow up” and get a job, have a family and be mature….didn’t just go into a long, long sleep. Many of those people then who are with us now still have that spark of creativity and life within them….they just have to remember.
If there is anyone from then who is reading this now and who needs to keep working and therefore revamp their resume I want to tell you to remember who you are and not focus so much on who you have been.
Ten things for Baby Boomers to remember in the rule-changing job hunt environment:
1 Do not go overboard on your cover letter. Write it with the person in mind who will be reading it even if it goes to a department—some one will read it. Within a couple of paragraphs you should be able to communicate why you are a good choice for the job and specifics on how your experience can help them so that they will want to read your resume;
2 In your resume, get rid of the jargon and jive talking. It is outdated, trust me. Find a concise and creative way to explain what you did and what your responsibilities were;
3 Yes, you and I know that you have many years of experience that has contributed to
your wisdom and that is valuable; however, this is the Google generation now so find
clear cut ways to say what you did and if you can add some natural pizazz to it–all the better (if you know someone in their 20’s or 30’s get their feedback);
4 Do the background research for a job when and where you can. If you can find a person you know or someone that knows someone who works where you are applying for a job, send them a copy of your resume and the job description and let them know that you are applying for a job with their company.
5 When submitting your resume on-line, always copy and paste it within your email unless they ask for it to be attached as a document.
6 Do not give up, do not give up, do not give up. Yes, you may have to accept a position for the time being that you would never have thought you would work at but remember “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”;
7 Constantly be thinking of how you can help a person or place with your expertise and skills. Whittle down the summary of what you do so that it just rolls off your tongue in an easy way whenever the opportunity arises. Don’t be a pain in the ass with this, but think of how you can be of service….you may be able to create a job for yourself.
8 I’m not so sure how I feel about the whole volunteering thing if you are poor and need to have your basic needs met but if your situation is dire, you could volunteer your services for those places that can feed, clothe and shelter you. If you are not poor, then think of those places that could use someone like yourself that you would enjoy working at….it will give you something to do while you’re looking for a job and it will be something that you can be proud to put on your resume.
9 What would you be doing now if money was not an issue? If money makes it not an issue than it isn’t about the money. Believe me, this is my big sticker point right here but my higher self does think this idea rings true. I’m working towards understanding it better.
10 In the meantime, if you are not working now every activity you do to better yourself counts. Start a daily blog if you have access to a PC, there are all kinds of free services out there that you could explore like blog talk radio, think of what you can do to keep your mind sharp and your body healthy and then go do it!
The rules are changing now but then they’ve always been changing the good news is that we are wide enough awake now to see them and make better choices about how we will respond. I’m wondering if perhaps what happened four decades ago is a whole lot of seeds got planted and what we are seeing today is just a huge garden that has gone wild. Sure, a whole lot of weeds need to be pulled and mounds of soil needs to be turned and a whole bunch of thirsty plants and flowers need to be watered but this is your garden that you planted many years ago so the hope of the future is still in there somewhere and only you have got the key.