By Pat Meehan
As a baby boomer myself, at age 57, and even though I can do pretty well on this desk top computer I’m typing on, I don’t own or operate a blackberry, I don’t like laptops, and I never send text messages. I even have a cell phone that doesn’t take pictures, much less opens up Microsoft Outlook. I have no desire to get emails 24 hours a day. Yet, in 2009, the toughest economic year in nearly 70 years, nearly one third of my colleagues dropped out of the recruiting business. Believe it or not, most of them were much younger than me.
What does this mean in generational terms? I am not a social scientist but of my last five employee placements as a recruiter with my client companies, of which I get 25% of the new employee’s starting salary, three of those five placements were as follows:
- Purchasing Manager – female – age 59 – starting salary of $78,000
- Human Resource Labor Relations Manager – male – age 61 – starting salary $80,000
- Materials Manager - male – age 60 – starting salary $75,000
Why did these three candidates get hired and how many people would give anything to have any of these jobs today? First of all, I submitted them to my clients with full knowledge of each of their ages. My clients looked at their experience, interviewed them and hired all of them. In all of the, “off the record” conversations, I have with my clients, age was never mentioned in the entire interviewing process in all three cases.
In the early 1990’s the unwritten rule was that the 30 somethings and the early 40 somethings got hired in the management jobs. Why? Because of the entire employment population there were more 30 somethings and early 40 somethings than any other age group (baby boomers).
Today the 50 somethings and early 60 somethings are still 45% of the total workforce. They have more experience than those who will follow them , … a new phenomenon in the baby boom generation.
You, as a baby boomer, are worth your weight in gold today if you choose not to be your own worst enemy by telling yourself that you are too old. I won’t try to talk you out of that. You will have to learn it for yourself.
Good luck on your Interview!