The job I lost
I am 55 years old and lost my job in January of 2011. I worked in operations for a national courier & delivery service. When I was told I was being let go I was told to get my 6 weeks of severance pay I would have to sign a statement that said I would not try to sue the company. Mind you I worked for this company twice from 1999-2005 and then from 2007-2011. Knowing I would need the money I signed the paper. Upon exiting I was handed a list of positions being phased out on a national level; mine being one of them. To my surprise most of the people listed were in their forties and fifties.
What it's like being unemployed
I didn't think I would be out of work this long, I had never been out of work more than 2 weeks. Because of technology not only have so many jobs gone by the way side but you get the ultimate blow-off electronically. There seems to be all sorts of new ways to discriminate against you & you never even talk to anybody. Most internet job boards are a waste of time. Most of those jobs use a separate company to weed you out. On Craigslist you will get a response but a lot are from people out of the country running a scam or the job isn't what the title refers to. To give you an example, look under customer service. You will see many ads for security work, nursing, sales, administrative assistants, lawyers, etc. There are even scams where they want you to pay for training and can't guarantee placement Everyone wants to run a financial & criminal background check, & of course a drug screening. I had applied at a major phone carrier as a customer service representative and the screening company wanted me to pay for my own background checks. I read an ad today that for a $26k a year job as a typist & they wanted a picture as well. For what? I seem to interview over the phone very well but when they see my age then they seem not to be interested. When I go to these interviews I am always in a suit with my hair done and light make-up (dressed for business); I never go casually dressed. I am too old to be young and too young to be old apparently. I am very scared as I have 4 weeks more of unemployment. I have had people suggest I take a waitress job working 11 hours a day on my feet, retail, etc. I have considered taking a $10 or $11 an hour job but they won't hire you if they see on your resume your last job was between $15-$17 an hour because they feel you won't stay if you can get a better offer. In NY where I live the reality is I couldn't even get by on a $10-$11 an hour job as I am alone with no other income.
- I get up everyday and look at least 2-4 hrs. and log everything I answer. I try as hard as I can to be optimistic; and yes I know this gets really hard. I ask people I know who are working if they know of any jobs. I practice my typing and brush up on programs like Excel, Quick books & others. I avoid job fairs or anything that may seem like a waste of time and carfare money. Apply for social services and see what you are eligible for. I make $40 per month too much for food stamps and can't get any money toward rent because I have no kids, but I was eligible for low cost health care and legal assistance.