Almost every day I hear concerns from clients and colleagues about the challenges of searching for a new job. Here are three issues that I have been talking with people about just this week.
Age Discrimination. Everybody 50 and older has the same concern. “How can I create a résumé that is honest and that also conceals my age?” These people all share the suspicion that once they are identified as older candidates, employers run away. The notion of ignoring an entire class of experienced, knowledgeable and wise people seems foolish. I wonder what company is going to take a leadership position by actively seeking older candidates who can balance their work force and increase internal diversity of thought. Will anyone do it? Come on, decision makers! Give everyone a chance and drop your stereotypes about older workers.
Bias Against the Unemployed. Congress and President Obama are talking about regulations to protect the unemployed as there have been some employers accused of specifically declining to consider unemployed candidates. The leaders of all organizations concerned about public relations and those wishing to do what is right need to consider the decision to systematically refuse to consider otherwise qualified people.
Preying on the Unemployed. Those who have been laid off and have been searching for work are under enough stress already. This stress manifests itself physically and emotionally and has some job seekers at the breaking point. There should be a special punishment for those who take advantage of these people. I am talking about people offering themselves as résumé writers, career coaches and experts who have one interest only: extracting as much cash from the desperate and hopeful as they can while doing as little work as possible.
If you are in a position to improve on these conditions, step out and do it. If you are a job seeker, be aware and be on guard. If we all work together, our small quiet changes can add up to create real change.