Would YOU do any Old Job if Push came to Shove?
Picture this if you will. You’re a man between 40 and 60 years of age. You have higher educational and or various occupational qualifications. Then one day you find yourself joining the ranks of middle-aged unemployed men. The search for a new job is on. You know that the longer it takes, the harder it will be to get back into full-time employment. So you’re all fired up and ready to start applying for vacant positions.
The Stresses of Job Seeking at Middle Age
As time passes by, and despite your best efforts, it seems increasingly unlikely that you’ll get back into your field of expertise, let alone the salary scale you had become accustomed to. As the weeks turn into months, your situation becomes ever more desperate. Then one day, quite out of the blue, you get a job offer – at last. But there’s a slight snag!
Low Paid Menial Worker Wanted for New Vacancy. Start Immediately!
This new position is low-paid and the work menial in nature. Still, it’s the only offer you’ve had in all your months of searching. Would you accept the post if push really came to shove, or would pride, ego, and circumstance prevent you from doing a job you consider – beneath you?
“Everything I’m not made me everything I am” ~ Kanye West
Perhaps your biggest fear is knowing that mature men who take on jobs they’re over-qualified for, can mean the beginning of the end? Saying goodbye to an old career and starting a new, less financially and occupationally rewarding vocation, is a bitter pill to swallow at any age, but especially middle age where fresh opportunities become fewer and further between.
Unemployment is bad for your Health
Many experts argue that it’s easier to find a job when you have a job, any job, at any age. A man ‘in work’ just looks more impressive on a resume than one that reveals a long period of unemployment. It shows that he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get stuck-in, doing whatever comes along as he continues to look for a position that is better suited to his skills and education.
Long-term unemployment is bad for mental health. It can, in many cases, lead to spiralling debt, relationship breakdowns, and depression. In fact the global economic downturn of recent years has been blamed for the substantial increase in male suicides, particularly in men between the ages of 45 and 59. The Samaritans helpline has been a great help to many, but sadly the death toll continues to rise.
“The shock of unemployment becomes a pathology in its own right”. ~ Robert Farrar Capon
If unemployment, or underemployment, is getting you down, seek help. Most governments will have various programs that freely give assistance and support to out-of-work men.
How Prepared Are You – Financially?
Financial experts state that working adults should have the equivalent of 3 to 9 months salary in savings at any given time. 6 months is considered the average time it takes to find new employment during recession. Unfortunately for many of the over 40s, borrowing and spending has been given priority over saving and investing. Not having a reserve stash can add a lot of additional stress to an already worrying situation.
Different nationalities think differently about money. In the UK, one in 4 Brits over the age 55 have no savings. Moreover, half of the population has less than 1000 pounds tucked away for a rainy day. No wonder financial insecurity is rife amongst Britain’s middle-aged inhabitants.
“Money isn’t everything but EVERYTHING needs money” ~ Unknown Author
Starting a Business in Middle Age
Any man facing unemployment during his middle years is undoubtedly going to be confronted by new and unfamiliar challenges. 40 to 65 is – in many ways – a strange age to be. He’s too young to retire, yet feels he’s being kicked out of the workplace, or certainly demoted to low paid unskilled jobs, just because of a number.
Some men become so fed up waiting for job offers, or offers that are uninteresting, minimum-wage positions, that they make a bold decision and start their own business. Most developed countries will have various government incentives to help and encourage such ventures, especially in times of high unemployment.
Those who do start, and succeed at running their own businesses often say, on reflection, that hard times proved to be a blessing in disguise – for them.
“I believe what we do flows from who we are”. ~ Ancient Proverb
If you would like to have your say on men’s middle-age unemployment issues, please leave your comments below, and or continue the conversation in the 50ish Jobs Forum.