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Old 23.01.2015, 16:25
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job loss in 50s

My rant of the day is about companies and even Swiss government employees being sacked or their jobs mysteriously disappearing when they hit their 50's. I hear of it more and more & know various people who have been booted out of their jobs for various reasons but can't find new jobs as they are considered as old donkeys put out to pasture. Politicians seem to be pushing to raise retirement levels which doesn't correspond at all to what many people are experiencing. How do they expect people to manage? They're following the up or out systems & when you're up they boot you out as you cost too much.
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Old 23.01.2015, 17:27
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Re: job loss in 50s

Well, that problem occurs everywhere (except australia or canada) , not only
in switzerland.
People in the 50s are expensive, have too many holidays, take many sick days of absence and have sometimes physical limitations, but these are rumors.
People in the 50s have a lot of experience and are well worth the money , they earn.
Everyone get older, but not everone get wiser.
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Old 23.01.2015, 18:44
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Re: job loss in 50s

this is what happens when a business, or aggregate economy, is struggling and therefore does not accommodate organic turnover. people in their 50's who find themselves in middle-management jobs are always the easiest targets, since they are expensive relative to the value to the firm and there is no shortage of younger candidates willing to step into their role.

I don't mean this to suggest that it's ok, just stating the reality. from what I have seen, Switzerland is about as bad as it gets in terms of severance and protection of employees, even in the US an employee in their 50's who loses their job can often push for 18-24 months of salary (depending on how long they've been with the employer) and sometimes even a top-up of their pension, etc. - the typical Swiss package is often less than half of that.
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Old 23.01.2015, 19:27
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Re: job loss in 50s

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this is what happens when a business, or aggregate economy, is struggling and therefore does not accommodate organic turnover. people in their 50's who find themselves in middle-management jobs are always the easiest targets, since they are expensive relative to the value to the firm and there is no shortage of younger candidates willing to step into their role.

I don't mean this to suggest that it's ok, just stating the reality. from what I have seen, Switzerland is about as bad as it gets in terms of severance and protection of employees, even in the US an employee in their 50's who loses their job can often push for 18-24 months of salary (depending on how long they've been with the employer) and sometimes even a top-up of their pension, etc. - the typical Swiss package is often less than half of that.
Typical Swiss package is often 3 months

One special issue here is the higher pension payments as people get older which triggers such actions.

Naming no names but I was involved with a large firm in Basel.
They fired all the people over a certain age with unusually good Swiss packages; basically early retirement.

Then they found a lot of things were not happening because th epeople had been there for 20 or more years and there was no policy about knowledge transfer.

So they decided to hire the people back as freelance.

HR decided that the people should not gain financially from this which meant people were being offered contracts for like CHF 20 or 30 per day.
Surprisingly nobody took this great offer.
Eventually the people came back for around double their old salaries (including pension payments).
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Old 23.01.2015, 19:29
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Re: job loss in 50s

It can work the other way. My OH's current employer actually went looking for the experienced older people when they hired him because they had plenty of bright, young things who didn't have the experience to back it up. They figured the experience would balance out the enthusiasm. Bright, young thing = "I've got a great idea!" Older experienced = "We tried that years ago and it doesn't work."
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Old 23.01.2015, 21:57
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Re: job loss in 50s

This particular topic pains me because in the whole scheme of things it's usually a matter of short-term cost saving stats which make the immediate office management look very efficient and cost-saving. In the long run, a company loses out on experience and loyalty.
On a sidenote, in my office, we hired a 56 year old who never had any previous experience doing the task but because of his professionalism, they decided to give him a shot. Needless to say, I look up to him for various reasons; he's always correct, level-headed and an absolute team player, attributes of a dependable colleague and good friend.

Last edited by lost_inbroad; 23.01.2015 at 23:14. Reason: Ugh, typo
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Old 23.01.2015, 22:00
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Re: job loss in 50s

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... they decided to give him a shit.
I think you meant shot. At least I hope so!
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Old 23.01.2015, 22:09
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Re: job loss in 50s

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I think you meant shot. At least I hope so!
Fixed it! Well, at least he was sitting.
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Old 23.01.2015, 22:18
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Re: job loss in 50s

I applied for a job here with one of the betting companies looking for a German speaker and I got the most bad-ass rejection ever....
Bird brained bimbo on the phone: "Thank you for your interest in our company and your very exiting CV, however we regret to inform you that we do not employ... (verbatim) `the elderly`!!" (Slammer is 54)
I could not get a job in (insert any European country) where I had my CV in the last three years because over 50ties are Bäh and it aint gonna get any better.
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Old 23.01.2015, 22:23
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Re: job loss in 50s

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This particular topic pains me because in the whole scheme of things it's usually a matter of short-term cost saving stats which make the immediate office management look very efficient and cost-saving. In the long run, a company looses out on experience and loyalty.
On a sidenote, in my office, we hired a 56 year old who never had any previous experience doing the task but because of his professionalism, they decided to give him a shot. Needless to say, I look up to him for various reasons; he's always correct, level-headed and an absolute team player, attributes of a dependable colleague and good friend.
Great, good on yer.... One shining pearl in a sea of crap, but sadly it aint the norm, it´s more the exception that confirms the rule.
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Old 23.01.2015, 23:00
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Re: job loss in 50s

After losing his job during the great Merck-Serono scandal, OH thought that at 62 he was on the scrap heap.
He was recently headhunted (he's one of the few people on the planet in his particular field) and started his new job the day before his 64th birthday.

One of the few lucky ones though.
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Old 24.01.2015, 01:38
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Re: job loss in 50s

This could be an issue worldwide except that in CH it could be that the job search takes even longer, given that the process is not quite as dynamic anyway as for instance in the US.
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Old 24.01.2015, 01:50
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Re: job loss in 50s

Oh I am so sorry. I feel for you. I have a friend, 55, who lost her job a couple years ago and has since not been able to find a new one. Recently her husband lost his job as well. What are they going to do now? Hell, I am a woman in her late 30s and it already starts to feel like this for me. One of my girlfriends advised me not to include my DOB in my CV any longer

Unprofessional, unfair, and just too sad.

Just know that it's not you. Best of luck in discovering new opportunities.
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Old 24.01.2015, 04:24
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Re: job loss in 50s

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...not to include my DOB in my CV any longer

When my mother was 59, she changed countries and found work. Yes, in her CV, she omitted her date of birth. When she phoned a few days later, having first sung a bit to ease her voice, she tied to put a young, smiley swing into her tone.


If she managed to get an interview, and was asked about her age, she said she was "in her 50s". It worked! I've always thought it a bit sad, though, that she had to dye her hair to try to look younger.

Last edited by doropfiz; 24.01.2015 at 06:49.
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Old 24.01.2015, 06:42
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Re: job loss in 50s

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Oh I am so sorry. I feel for you. I have a friend, 55, who lost her job a couple years ago and has since not been able to find a new one. Recently her husband lost his job as well. What are they going to do now? Hell, I am a woman in her late 30s and it already starts to feel like this for me. One of my girlfriends advised me not to include my DOB in my CV any longer

Unprofessional, unfair, and just too sad.

Just know that it's not you. Best of luck in discovering new opportunities.
Yes, leave your DOB out and you will get replies, then they will sing praise over yout CV but inevitably the question will crop up and you will hear on the phone or read in mails how they lose interest. I don´t know what is more hurtfull.

Last edited by slammer; 24.01.2015 at 14:03.
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Old 24.01.2015, 18:23
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Re: job loss in 50s

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I applied for a job here with one of the betting companies looking for a German speaker and I got the most bad-ass rejection ever....
Bird brained bimbo on the phone: "Thank you for your interest in our company and your very exiting CV, however we regret to inform you that we do not employ... (verbatim) `the elderly`!!" (Slammer is 54)
I could not get a job in (insert any European country) where I had my CV in the last three years because over 50ties are Bäh and it aint gonna get any better.

If and when you find yourself in this situation, start your own small business working from home - I did, never looked back and now have heaps of work. Next birthday....... the big 7!
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