Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Job Networks For Older Workers
Two of the articles at the links below discuss local job networking clubs for the dinosaurs of the business world - i.e., white collar workers over 40 years of age. I found it interesting that they both appeared about the same time, referring to separate organizations in different parts of the country.
One group, the Northwest Indiana Professional Network, is dedicated to generating job leads and providing job search advice to its members. According to the article anyone can join, but it "targets white-collar professionals over 50." Another such group is Job Club in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is run by the county employment services agency, and to qualify potential members must have been "laid off through no fault of their own." Like the network in Indiana, which as yet has only 20 members, the Job Club has only about 50 members. Their average age is around 50. Louis Uchitelle, author of The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences, spoke to this group recently. He emphasized that layoffs and downsizing flourish in "a culture of indifference", and are pursued as a routine procedure to reduce corporate labor and health care costs. Despite their routine nature, layoffs and downsizing are profoundly destructive to those who experience them, causing them to doubt their self-worth and to blame themselves for their fate when they are, in fact, blameless.
Job Club is a kind of job-hunting boot camp that requires members to "sign a contract and meet 35 hours a week" at a local business conference center. They receive training on job-hunting skills, which includes grueling tasks like "making 25 cold calls a day to prospective employers." Some might dismiss this as remedial tough love for a bunch of soft old coots, while those of us with any justice in our souls will recognize it for the much needed grassroots activism that it is. Let such clubs spread like wildfire across America.
I've also provided a link to an article in Career Journal that lists employment networks and other organizations for workers over 55 years of ago who want (or need) to continue working. These include:
YOURENCORE.COM - Sponsored by Eli Lilly, Procter & Gamble, Boeing, National Starch & Chemical Co., 3M Co. and Ethicon Inc., this website seeks to match retired engineers, scientists and managers with possible opportunities at the sponsor companies or at others. Most of these appear to be contract opportunities, but some of them are salaried.
SENIORS4HIRE.ORG - This network serves 182,000 job seekers age 50 and up, with an employer base of 550 companies offering more than 20,000 jobs in the domestic United States. These companies pay a small annual fee to post openings on the site, but members can browse these postings for free.
ENRGE.US - This is an employment network for former U.S. government employees who wish to work in private industry. The network maintains a resume database, which 42 employers thus far have paid $1,000 per year to browse. Most of the jobs offered "tend to be contract-based."
SENIORJOBBANK.COM - This online network has been around since 1999, but has recently acquired momentum under new management. Approximately 5,000 visitors a day visit the site, and as many as 200 jobs may be available at any given time. The jobs offered appear to be short-term and contract-based, as the founder of the company that runs the site says, "We are targeting middle-class people over 50 who need a little extra income."
DINOSAUR-EXCHANGE.COM - This is a relatively low volume website, but does offer the novelty factor of offering jobs in Europe and elsewhere.
"Networking group helps professionals in job market" from Post-Tribune (Indiana)
"First rule of Job Club: Don't mention your age" from Lancaster Online (Pennsylvania)
"Online Job Networks For the 55-Plus Crowd" from Career Journal