I got a call on the weekend from a friend I hadn't heard from in ages. She wanted to know if I could help her son's girlfriend find a new job. She is worried she'll be laid off from her high tech firm. Now, been there, done that, so I readily offered to help. I will always go out of my way to help anyone in their career. I remember how hard it was when I was in my 20's - hell when I was in my 30's and trying to find and grow a career. I did wonder though, who would find work first, the 20-something girl friend or me, the 50 something senior manager with a wealth of experience. Show of hands, how many of you think it's the latter? I wouldn't be so sure.
I read somewhere that as women age they become invisible. Now, I'd always assumed that this meant sexually invisible, but maybe it just means invisible period. I've been following a series of article in the Ottawa Citizen about how in the next few years businesses will have to accommodate the older worker as all the boomers turn 65. Really? I have seen precious little of this out there in the real world. In high tech, it seems that once you hit 50 you are marked as on your way out. I've lived through enough lay offs to see that the older the worker, the more likely they are to be shown the door. In fact a good friend was just 'retired' from her job at a very large tech company. She didn't want to go, and was offered out-placement services, but yet it was called retirement. Maybe if you are 60 it's automatically retirement and if you are 30 it's a lay-off who knows. But regardless, she's out of work and having to look for something else at this stage in her life.
But back to the 20-something girl friend. I've sent her Linkedin profile out people I know in her profession, hopefully something will pop up for her soon. And me, well, I'll keep looking, and maybe will have earned some good career karma along the way.