There’s A Business Idea In There Somewhere
I’m 57. I’ve been looking for a job for approximately 7 years, with no appreciable progress made towards more than one interview. One. Skype. Interview. In. Seven. Years. Shocker: Not even in person. Now, I’m no dummy. I’m skilled in design and copywriting. I’ve even written patents. My skill set, as far as it is applicable to working in my field, is nothing that my age would affect in any way. In fact, writing is one of the few job categories that is said to be affected the least by advancing age. But no one on the ‘employment planet’ has the slightest interest in me.
Why? Does it really matter why? Does it matter that I worked for myself for 30 years and that might be what makes me unhire-able? Or is it even that? It’s probably more about the bots and the keywords that control the resume search engine-ing these days, and the fact that HR isn’t generally given time by management to even read these damn things. I just wish someone would explain to me why being seasoned, mature, and skilled would instantly be a no-go for a job? I have unwittingly achieved Marvel-like greatness as the first truly Invisible Woman.
I’ve resigned myself to doing the all-inclusive ‘consulting’ and services rendered, because it is clear at this point that nothing is changing, ever. I really feel for people who just cannot move that needle no matter what they do. It’s not like we as humanoids can roll back the clock. I even look younger than I am. “It’s your work history,” they said. “It’s that your degree is different than what you’ve done for 30 years.” “Well, 57 is too old to even consider being hired, especially if you’re a woman.” Did someone say this out loud? Even if they didn’t, the statistics don’t lie.
Now that last comment chaps my ass (this is redneck for, makes me angry). I mean, really. I guess there’s this image of my elder self as peering over my half-bifocals in a disapproving glare at the millennials who can work circles around me. Maybe it’s the implication that my brain, with all its deep corrugated trenches and filmy memories, cannot learn anything new. Or maybe it’s that ‘older person’ attitude in which I could never take direction from a younger manager.
Well, yes. I am stubborn, and just a tad angry, too. Not only have my children left, but the job market has left me, too. In fact, almost everything has left but the dogs. For them, I’m grateful. I’m still their most important person. (sigh)
Truth be known, I like being ignored, just about half the time. It gives me a lot of fodder to write about. It also allows me to be an underdog. The underdog status offers quite a lot of advantages, like surprising people. Surprising people is undervalued in this world. It causes people to suddenly think better of you than they did last week. I’ve always liked that.
Is there any point at all to this article? Not really. It’s thrown out there carelessly to acknowledge and empower people who may need to hear my fatalistic musings: “You won’t be getting anywhere, and things will never change, and you need to get cracking on something that will work.” Ah yes, tough love for seniors. I’ve read article after article about getting into consulting. When I was in advertising, I had a hard time getting people to pay their bills on time, and an exhaustive time selling accounts and then doubling up doing the work. Would it be any different now?
I digress. I have decided that I will heretofore become an expert at Nobody. Someone has to do it. I might even go to the thrift store and get a houndstooth tam. Maybe I will order business cards that have my name, phone number, and the title nobody typeset in stylish spread lower case so that it even looks more authentic. Maybe I will even get the dogs business cards. I’m sure they would be interviewed before me.
Colonel Sanders didn’t start officially mass-producing fried chicken until he was 65. I’m certain that being a Nobody has got to be easier to achieve than a worldwide food franchise. The worldwide web has made it oh so easy to excel as a Nobody. As a professional Nobody, I will offer training (at $19.95 per webinar) on how to be the most successful Nobody ever. I’ll even offer (drum roll) mocked-up phony Wikipedia pages to those of caught in infinite nobodydom to light up those dark moments of loathing.
And what about, instead of the Jesus Calling app, a daily, self-deprecating devotional named Nobody Called? I think I’m on to something.