Job search involves rejection – but how much is too much? Every so often I get emails from mid-life executives who say, “I was laid off six months ago. I’ve got a big stack of rejHavction letters. Must be age discrimination.”
You are right. Age discrimination is alive and well in the US and probably much of the rest of the world. If you’ve been collecting nothing but rejections, here are two things to consider:
First, have you considered an entrepreneurial venture? If you’re moving to self-employment you come across as strong and confident. Ironically you have a much greater chance of getting a “real” job. I’d keep an entrepreneurial venture on the side, just in case.
Second, are you applying for the wrong jobs? One client hired me after she kept getting interviews, but never got past the first round. We worked on two challenges. First, we identified a pattern. She was way overqualified for those jobs. Employers feared she would become bored easily. I suggested she actually raise her sights to a job where she’d fit more closely. Second, we explored the way she answered questions. When prospective employers asked, “Do you know how to use this XYZ software?” she had been saying, “No.” I encouraged her to say instead, “I have used ABC software which is very similar. I’d be totally at home on XYZ after a day or two.”
Some career consultants encourage you to “dumb down” your resume and apply for lower-level jobs. I don’t. You might last a few weeks after you’ve taken a step backward, maybe even a few months. But you’ll be extremely stressed. The exception may be applying for an entry job in a totally new field.
Career consulting may seem expensive (and the lower-end consultants tend to be inexperienced or desperate). But an hour or two with an experienced consultant can pay dividends. I’m not a tax expert, but it might be tax-deductible. You’ll find many qualified consultants. My services are listed here.