What Do Gray-hairs and Ex-cons Have in Common?

There’s a hint in this video-story title: “For Some, Finding Work Proves Extra Difficult”

Just saw this story on PBS NewsHour, where Paul Solman interviews two groups of job seekers – two groups that are stuck, going nowhere, for a year or more, and yet they are still persisting, still spending every ounce of energy trying every piece of advice they’ve ever heard. They come together each week to keep themselves from going overboard (notice the “negative” emotions on the whiteboard at the end of the video).

You might expect that result from one group – the ex-cons – but the similarities between their experience, their discouragement, their “stuckness,” and the former executives in the other group shocked me. Those in the ex-exec group had one thing in common: All are over 50.

Hmmm. Makes me wonder if being over 50 is as much of a “deficiency” as being an ex-con!

Of course, that wasn’t Paul Solman’s point. He was struck by the similarities in their discouragement – which, as he says, is probably widespread these days. And it is – among special, select groups. Like ex-cons, recent high-school graduates – and fiftysomethings.

Because the average time between jobs  – and who knows where they get this – is five months, not fifteen.


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