We wish to
thank the following
Aside from personal or family trauma, the loss of a professional job is the most challenging life-hazard facing men and women who are older than 40-years of age. Job loss itself quickly turns into a 'personal' trauma. You are powerless over the employer's decision. For the years you toiled a standard 60-hour week (in the United States,) your effort was in vain. Your only hope is to find a new professional job...quickly.
But there is far more to the unemployment picture, so do not look to media to quote what recruiters have known for years: No matter what your corporate experience, your age counts against you. What they do not answer however is "why?"
Of course your CV (resume) can reveal more about your age than you think. If your college graduation date is prior to 1989, you are sunk. If you don't list your college graduation year, you are usually dropped from the pool of candidates. (Most career counselors however do suggest 'older' employees should only list the past 10-years employment history and not list college dates if it reveals your experienced age.)
The paper trail is only the beginning. Submitting to any one of some 2 million jobs available at present across Monster and Careerbuilder and other independent job boards would seem to equate to an instant interview. Don't be fooled. Recent college grads are the only hot commodity of the day.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 60 percent of employers in the United States plan to hire more college graduates in 2006 than one year ago, with the services sector growing their college-aged hiring by 16 percent. By all accounts, using the federal hiring 'estimates' for corporate in 2006, college hires account for 83 percent of prospective new hires. That means 17 out of every 100 professional jobs are (possibly) open to professional men and women.
So, what drives the corporate desire to hire 20-somethings...when hiring an experienced 40-something professional --who already knows the ropes of corporate culture-- would save the company time, training resources, and benefit from retainment objectives?
It is not related to salary. The average starting salary for college graduates in 2006 fits a range of between $36,000 to $53,000 (teaching jobs are on the lower end - Fortune 500 companies are on the higher end.) The national median household income in the United States is around $45,000. Even if a 44-year old professional at IBM, who earns $72,000 at present, is laid off, but able to find a new corporate job at American Express for a starting salary of $58,000, the financial loss is not devastating. But the main point is, the new college hire at American Express will start at $55,000 anyway, and the company still risks losing that college hire within the first year by a factor of 2-to-1 over a professional.
College graduation for 2006 is here and now (May 2006.) The National Association of Colleges report that 64 percent of 1.4 million college grads today have already received more than two offers for professional employment.
But here is the scoop: These graduates are changing workplace hiring values. Recruiters say, overwhelmingly that 20-somethings are well-informed (because of access to information online;) they are "over confident" in their skills, and 20-somethings are more interested in a company's ethical practices than they are about a personal career path.
On college campus recruiting days, parents (of the 20-somethings) accompany their children to corporate interviews...and in turn the fresh graduates will ask for parental advice on whether or not to accept a company's offer of employment.
As an aside, although quite relevant, in March a New York Times article discussed how 20-somethings (and even 30-somethings) in 2006 are more often than not subsidized by their parents from anywhere from $300 per month up to $1,000 or more. With slightly more than half of the younger generation remaining on the payroll of mom and dad it is no wonder their attitude is more relaxed.
As one recruiter from CareerXroads told the Los Angeles Times in May, 20-somethings today are not living in reality...and "this generation will quit on a dime." Younger workers, who are often referred to as Generation Y don't salute to orders, they walk away, the article reported.
For a little added humor, Think & Ask compiled our own generational map to differentiate between 20-somethings and 40-somethings vying for the same job.
Q: 40-something asks about ethical
A: Company recruiter's eyes bulge and thinks the candidate is untrusting.
Q: 20-something says, "I want to be
A: Company recruiter says, "Oh boy! Do I have a challenge for you! When can you start?"
Q: 40-something says, "I want to be
A: Company recruiter grins and says, "Thank you for coming in..."
Q: 20-something asks about
full-health care benefits, vacation, and flextime.
A: Company recruiter replies that he's covered and can work from anywhere at anytime.
Q: 40-something ask the same
A: Company recruiter asks whether the candidate smokes, drinks, is bulimic, or taking prescription drugs.
Note: 20-somethings get the red-carpet treatment and a tour of the offices, he is offered a substantial hiring bonus during a free interview lunch.
Note: 40-somethings get scrutinized and asked to describe his greatest past project failure (IN detail,) and he is judged for the way we sits, dresses, and speaks during the interview.
The younger workers have no experience with corporate culture, and internships simply do not count (even though internships often look impressive on a CV.) The older generation can start their new jobs with little or no training, because they've been there / done that. The older workers won't quit on a dime and are far more likely to see a project through to the end.
As for the 20-somethings bringing their parents to job interviews...well, 40-somethings could as well -- if our parents are still alive. That is unless the 40-something is not too busy accompanying their 20-something child to his own job interview.
If this essay was posted on a 20-something's blog...hiring managers would likely find it creative...but as I am 40-something, what, I wonder, would they say?