Labor Day: Letter to Employers

Today is Labor Day, which I used to think of as a long weekend for playing at the end of summer. After going through a six month job transition, Labor Day has a lot more meaning to me. I’m addressing this to businesses who may be hiring employees.

Don’t Shun the Unemployed: To those of you who screen out resumes of the unemployed without even looking at them, you’re being incredibly shortsighted. In my 7 months of going to job transition groups and networking with the unemployed, I’ve met some real superstars who could revitalize your company, and are in no way “damaged goods.” No one will work harder for you than the person who lost a job through no fault of their own, and wants nothing more than to help you succeed.

Hire Those Over 50: Age discrimination is huge in the marketplace. Companies are getting away with it because court rulings have made it almost impossible to win an age discrimination suit, and if you dare to file one you lose the severance you need to survive in an economy where people over 50 get hired at a much lower rate than younger people.

Baby boomers overall have some characteristics that serve companies very well. We have a work ethic that is unparalleled. We have good judgement developed over the course of our professional lives. We are responsible, and loyal. Most of us realize that we may never again earn the high salaries that our experience earned us, and are willing to take less pay – we just want to work! But every day we hear we’re “overqualified” – or we hear nothing at all. If we do get interviews we often can tell by the faces of the interviewers that our age has effectively ended the interview before it starts.

We are not all just coasting until we retire. We do work hard, we can learn new things and be innovators. Give us a try – you won’t be disappointed.

Sending Jobs Offshore: I understand the pressures companies are under to be profitable, and getting cheap labor outside the US is a way to do that. I know from working for a company that moved a lot of jobs offshore, it’s not always as successful as the companies hope for, and companies are now starting to pay the price because their US customers who lost jobs due to the offshore movement cannot buy the goods and services that the companies are selling. Today’s extraordinarily high unemployment rate is having a massive effect on the overall economy and on a company’s bottom line, and to a large extent the companies did it to themselves by moving all the jobs to other countries. How about filling some jobs here?

I’m hoping that next Labor Day finds more of us actually being able to labor.

About Pat Wolesky

I'm a renaissance woman in some ways. Professionally I do Web content management, knowledge management and communications. I also do watercolor painting, compose and perform music, do nature photography, and am the devoted slave to two cats and a moderator of the About.com Cats forum.
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