Termination or Being Laid Off Before Other Capable Workers
Due to the economic conditions that started to prevail in the late 2000s recession, many organizations have had to restructure and streamline operations in order to stay afloat. As a result, many workers have been terminated or laid off. Only those who could be twice as productive and who could multitask and perform more than one job survived. Although numerous people have been touched by the recession, the most devastating effects have been seen with the mature workforce. This population has had a very difficult time bouncing back, regaining their confidence, and getting in the door to companies that are hiring.
Inability to Get an Interview
The competition for getting jobs in a tight economy is fierce. Workers from the young to the old are competing for limited opportunities. For every job posted, a human resource specialist will receive between 150 and 400 résumés. Many organizations are favoring younger job applicants over older, better qualified candidates for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include paying lower salaries and reducing the organizational benefits rate. Other reasons involve thinking that younger workers will be more productive than older workers.
Stereotypes Dealing with Retirement and Health
Some organizations automatically assume that older people will want to retire to enjoy more leisure time with family and friends, therefore they do not invest in developing new skills. Others fear the liability of keeping older workers due to the skyrocketing costs of providing health benefits, as well as the cost of workers’ compensation should something occur on the job, assuming that older workers are at a higher risk for having health issues and job-related injuries
Career Coaches need to be aware of trends in pension benefits, Social Security, age discrimination laws, and more so that they understand how to keep the mature workforce working longer. As a group, coaches need to promote the positives of older workers and dispel the myths and negative stereotypes. Coaches also need to be communication catalysts in the workplace and ensure that the myth that mature people are “anti-information technology” is dispelled. Older working adults have a lot to offer in terms of strategic planning, human relations, and critical thinking. They have a lot of experience in knowing what works and what does not work in business, and can help organizations avoid pitfalls by virtue of that experience. Coaches need to help maturing adults find their voice again and renew their sense of confidence and pride in their former accomplishments and their future successes