Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Employment ageism not only exists, it is thriving - NEW CASTLE HERALD

by Charmaine Weeks
Originally published: April 25, 2017
Publisher: TheHerald.com.au

At 62, it appears that I am on the workforce scrap heap. That's quite unnerving when I see myself as a bit of a mover and shaker, intellectually sharp, still relatively easy on the eye and an up-and-comer on the tennis court. For me, life is just beginning.

But, like thousands of over 50s, I want to work. Sadly, I admit to being desperately in need of a job. Psychologically, I swing between despair, hope and optimism. On a bad day, I relate to the impoverished, picking their way through giant rubbish tips in third world countries in search of a scrap of nourishment or something of value that can be traded for a shekel or two. I, too, pick my way through the jobs boards; daily, sometimes hourly and definitely on weekends and public holidays.

Contract or permanent, I am interested in them all. Just last week, when everyone else was immersed in holidays and hot cross buns, I applied for 26 jobs. If my phone rings during this, or any week, the potential employer will be greeted with enthusiasm and hope, regardless of how defeated I may feel on any given day.