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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Top 10 Tips for Older Job Hunters

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Thanks to their seniority, folks 55 and older were once less likely than their younger co-workers to be laid off during a recession. Not this time around. Steep manufacturing cuts have hit older workers particularly hard. And even in workplaces where seniority still provides protection, older men have less of it than they used to; only 44% of male workers aged 58 to 62 work for the same employer they were with at age 50, down from 70% 25 years ago.


Here are some tips for older layoff victims.

No. 1: Keep Your Health Insurance

If you have employer-provided health insurance, use "COBRA"--a federal provision that lets you continue in your ex-employer's plan, but without an employer subsidy. It was always essential to stay insured, and now it's affordable too. Under the stimulus package passed in February, the feds will pick up 65% of your COBRA premium for nine months. Warning: If your adjusted gross income is more than $250,000 for a couple or $125,000 for an individual, you'll have to pay some or all of the federal subsidy back when you file your tax return.



No. 2: Consider Americorps

If you don't need too much income and would like to do work such as tutoring, consider Americorps. A law President Obama signed in April slowly increases the number of federally funded Americorps slots from 75,000 to 250,000 and aims to fill 10% of them with folks 55 and older. The jobs pay minimum wage plus a $4,725 education grant (increasing to $5,350 Oct. 1) for each year worked. Under the new law, this grant can be transferred to children or grandchildren. Another senior-friendly change: Americorps slots used to be full-time jobs lasting a maximum of two years. Now they can be turned into part-time jobs lasting longer.



No. 3: Find Senior-Friendly Employers Online

At www.retirementjobs.com, you'll find 20,000 listings from employers that say they're open to applications from older workers. AARP, the 40-million member organization for folks 50 and older, lists 41 companies, from AT&T to Walgreens, that have won spots on its "National Employer Team" and links to those employers' job sites at www.aarp.org/money.


Click here to read part 2 of this article


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      Saturday, January 16, 2016

      Is Age Discrimination Inevitable?

      From the New York Times

      "To Get a Job in Your 50's, Maintain Friendships in Your 40's

      Editor's Note: This article does not argue the existence of age discrimination - job seekers over 50 were unemployed 5.8 weeks longer than those from the ages of 30 to 49. The author suggests that when you have a job, you should keep your skills up-to-date and your networks strong since both shrink as we grow older and age discrimination is inevitable.
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      "As people age, they also tend to stay in the same job longer, consistent with a pattern of wanting to put down roots. During that time, the skills people have learned and the job search strategies they once used may become outdated---especially as technology evolves ever more quickly.

      The cure for these drawbacks is fairly straightforward. Once you hit your early 40s, even if you are not looking for a job, work to learn new skills and stretch yourself, Professor Wanberg said. Also, keep your networks strong by staying in touch with former colleagues and classmates, along with current co-workers and clients whom you don't regularly, she said."




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      Tuesday, January 12, 2016

      Can A Job Loss Kill You?

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      At Closing Plant, Ordeal Included Heart Attacks 

      By MICHAEL LUO

      The first to have a heart attack was George Kull Jr., 56, a millwright who worked for three decades at the steel mills in Lackawanna, N.Y. Three weeks after learning that his plant was closing, he suddenly collapsed at home.


      Less than two hours later, he was pronounced dead.



      A few weeks after that, a co-worker, Bob Smith, 42, a forklift operator with four young children, started having chest pains. He learned at the doctor’s office that he was having a heart attack. Surgeons inserted three stents, saving his life.


      Less than a month later, Don Turner, 55, a crane operator who had started at the mills as a teenager, was found by his wife, Darlene, slumped on a love seat, stricken by a fatal heart attack.


      It is impossible to say exactly why these men, all in relatively good health, had heart attacks within weeks of one another. But interviews with friends and relatives of Mr. Kull and Mr. Turner, and with Mr. Smith, suggest that the trauma of losing their jobs might have played a role.


      “He was really, really worried,” George Kull III said of his father. “With his age, he didn’t know where he would get another job, or if he would get another job.”


      How to Quickly Create Customized Cover Letters


      A growing body of research suggests that layoffs can have profound health consequences. One 2006 study by a group of epidemiologists at Yale found that layoffs more than doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke among older workers. Another paper, published last year by Kate W. Strully, a sociology professor at the State University of New York at Albany, found that a person who lost a job had an 83 percent greater chance of developing a stress-related health problem, like diabetes, arthritis or psychiatric issues.

      In perhaps the most sobering finding, a study published last year found that layoffs can affect life expectancy. The paper, by Till von Wachter, a Columbia University economist, and Daniel G. Sullivan, director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, examined death records and earnings data in Pennsylvania during the recession of the early 1980s and concluded that death rates among high-seniority male workers jumped by 50 percent to 100 percent in the year after a job loss, depending on the worker’s age. Even 20 years later, deaths were 10 percent to 15 percent higher. That meant a worker who lost his job at age 40 had his life expectancy cut by a year to a year and half.

      Additional investigation is still needed to understand the exact connection between job loss and poor health, according to scientists. The focus is mostly on the direct and indirect effects of stress. Acute stress can cause biochemical changes that trigger heart attacks, for example. Job loss and chronic stress can also lead to lifestyle changes that damage health.

      Studies have, for instance, tied job loss to increased smoking and greater chances of former smokers relapsing. Some laid-off workers might start drinking more or exercising less. Increased prevalence of depression has been tied to both job loss and the development of heart disease. 


      Read the full article at the The New York Times

      Related Lifestyle Article:For Ways to cope with Stress you might want to read this article 


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      Do You Know The 7 Mistakes Job Seekers Over 50 Make?

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      A good portion of the e-mail I receive is from readers over age 50 who are looking for work after a layoff. Many tell me they found their last job more than a decade ago, in the classifieds of their local newspaper. Many more say they're daunted -- understandably so -- by the foul job market, the prospect of ageism and the likelihood of being interviewed by someone half their age

      All of them worry about the generalizations some short-sighted employers make about older workers. Either they see you as overqualified and overpriced, or they believe you're inflexible and technologically challenged. Perhaps they suspect you're just biding your time and taking up space until retirement rolls around.

      We've all heard countless career experts (yours truly included) offer the same old job hunting solutions for workers over 50:

      But platitudes will only get you so far. So let's talk about the top mistakes that hopeful hires over age 50 make and how to avoid them.

      Telling Yourself That No One Hires Older Workers

      I hear a lot of 50- and 60-somethings make this complaint. Yes, older candidates have to work harder to overcome discrimination, and no, it's not fair. But that doesn't mean every employer is hell-bent on shutting out all candidates over 35.

      Example: The site RetirementJobs.com lists more than 30,000 full-time and part-time jobs nationwide with "age-friendly employers." Other job sites that cater to older workers: Jobs 4.0, Retired Brains, Seniors4Hire and Workforce50.com. In addition, AARP offers this list of the best employers for workers over 50.

      So, please, don't tell me no one's hiring older workers.



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      Putting an Expiration Date on Contacts

      You've been on this crazy hamster wheel we call "work" for at least three decades now, so you might as well milk the vast contact list you've amassed for all its worth. It's perfectly acceptable to reach out to former employers, co-workers, vendors, classmates and other colleagues you haven't corresponded with in a decade or two. (Searching sites like LinkedIn and Facebook make finding them a snap.) Not only will your peers understand, more of them are likely reaching out to their long-lost contacts, too.


      Get Your Free: 49 Benefits To Hiring An Older Skilled Worker.

      Click here to read part 2 of this article

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