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A Senior Moment

The unflinchingly abysmal economy notwithstanding, almost 60% of working Canadians feel that if they were to lose their job today, they could find another, and with similar duties and pay. But the optimism ends with the 55-and-over crowd. Once you’ve passed that not-so-magical divide, says the Ipsos Reid poll in question, your positivity about your employed future shrinks starkly. Just 49% of this population slice sees their professional prospects brightly.

Around here, we see these results as unnecessarily bleak. So you’re stumbling down the other side of the 50s hump when you find yourself relieved of a job. Casting eyes ahead, you imagine a life of only volunteering and retirement. Days filled with euchre, indolence and regular bouts of crying.

Perish the thought.

Consider, for a moment, the roar of disdain that so popularly fills the airwaves about the lack of work ethic demonstrated by the young folk of today — and count yourself lucky not to be caught up in those broad strokes. At Keen, we regularly come into contact with members of the old guard, and consistently comment on how this generation simply gets what it takes to do a good job.

And so there’s plenty of room for older individuals in the staffing, recruitment and recruitment outsourcing ranks. Managers seeking assistance with their HR requirements need only open their minds to the possibility of taking on a soul who maybe isn’t buzzing with digitally kissed, socially networked techno-energy, but is supremely capable and rolling in the common-sense-grounded goods nonetheless.

And for the mature job seekers themselves, there’s government assistance at hand. If you’re an unemployed older person (aged 55 to 64) in a vulnerable community (fewer than 250,000 residents) with a taste for continued employment, check out the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW). This federal-provincial jobs program offers a range of employment assistance services and employability activities — think skills upgrading and opportunities to increase work experience — to help unemployed older workers stay in the workforce. To date, the TIOW has helped more than 17,800 unemployed older workers retrain for new careers.

And why not? Who, after all, wants to settle for a life of quiet withdrawal and cards just because your birth certificate suggests you’re not so fresh to the game?

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