By Tim Klepaczyk
You go to college for four and often many more years. If your field is anything like mine you busted your butt. Upon completion you start your career. Now it’s just about doing a good job and looking for opportunities to advance up the corporate ladder, right? Sure, it’s often long hours, but I never had to do an all-nighter as a professional engineer. The last time that happened (not counting care-giving in my mom’s last days) was in grad school.
Alas, the harsh reality of the work world eventually ensues. 60 hour weeks to complete a demanding development project, and you get a pink slip the day after the design review. Unfortunately, it’s not the only time it happens. Lay-offs recur in your career more times than you care to admit.
It’s not about a lack of performance. Corporations hand out “A”s much less frequently than schools, but that still is no guarantee of a paycheck. Fortunately, you land in new positions relatively quickly most of the time. However, the clock is ticking, and as you pass age 50, new challenges emerge. The subtle bias of ageism becomes a factor. And sometimes you’re out of work when hiring is slow, even without a financial collapse to trigger it.
The good news is others have been where you are. I have a lot of experience searching for a job. In the big picture I have my health and close friends. You only need to read the papers to see that others have much greater challenges. So there’s reason to be optimistic. I decided to join this team of group bloggers to share my experience, past and present, in the job search effort. I look forward to it, and hope you find my contributions helpful.
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