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Old 31.10.2016, 11:39
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An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

Now this is going to sound a bit like a whinge and a rant (a ringe???). But I really do need to let off steam.

I have been unemployed since last July, due to the last company I was working for going under. So I have been making applications left, right and centre.

I have noticed that responses to my applications fall into a number of categories (my interpretation in brackets )
  1. No reply at all ("go away, you nasty little man")
  2. Computerised reply - usually sent at some ungodly hour such as 11pm on a Saturday: thus proving no human was at all involved in reading and replying to my application ("thank you for your application, we haven't bothered to read it as the computer says NO")
  3. Rejection with a flimsy excuse, such as "unfortunately other candidates more closely-met our stringent requirements on this occasion" a reply which is usually associated with applications to positions where I can easily tick off EVERY job requirement ("you scare the beejezus out of us" [see below]).
  4. Personalised and written by a human: "Sorry, but no thank you this time, however you are interesting to us, can we keep your details on file?" (a very rare beast, that one).
Now, to go back to item 3 again. I think that an explanation is in order: [a] I am 60 years old; [b] I have 30+ years of experience in my chosen profession and [c] I am expensive.


To take the last point [c] first, I have heard that companies don't want to hire older people as they are deemed as being "too expensive", yet - somehow - they manage to find the "Lira di Dio" (to use an old Italian expression) for the various "Wunderkind" that come in, rearrange things - frequently making a bad situation worse, then bu99er off to another high paying position letting us mere mortals clear up after them. So I am not convinced that that is a valid reason for rejecting my application outright.


The first point [a] is perhaps a little more relevant reason for rejection - but as I am in good health, my job does not involve physical labour, my mental faculties are intact and in good working order and I love to work, why not at least talk to me to find that out??? (incidentally, I have heard through the grapevine that at least one large company in my line of work has an unofficial policy of not hiring anyone over 50). Ironic, isn't it, that on the one hand the Government is saying that for people under a certain age they will have to work until aged 67 before retiring, yet on the other the Government moans that older people aren't being hired.


However, I think that the real reason my applications for jobs that I can easily do are rejected is [c] the 30+ years of experience. I have a strong suspicion that many line managers are afraid of hiring very experienced people as the line managers are frightened that either the experienced person will shine a merciless spotlight on the LM's own lack of experience and knowledge or the experienced person will in short order take over the LM's job. Plus, when you have had 30+ years "playing the game" juvenilia - such as "team building" exercises no longer impress...



However, it's not all doom and gloom for me, I have had a set of very positive interviews for one job (although the job has been put on hold until the new financial year) and a recent rethink of my strategy has opened up some new potential avenues of employment. But it'd be nice to get things sorted out ASAP on the job front. Illegitimus nils carborandum est! Never Give Up! Never Surrender!


Thanks for letting me "ringe" for a bit. I'd be interested to see your comments and hear about your experiences.


TD
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Old 31.10.2016, 11:51
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

That's life, mate!

5 years off retiring and doubtless wishing to command desirable recompense for all that experience. Maybe it's time to think outside the box? Start-up? Different line of work all together??

PS. I'm 67 fully retired, but started a totally new line of work teaching English as a foreign language at 40...
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Old 31.10.2016, 12:13
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

My condolences. 60 has got to be about the hardest age to look for a job at here. You will almost universally be seen as expensive, set in your ways, a threat to anyone above you, as well as tedious to everyone else. About the only positive side is that they probably don't regard you as a job hopper.

Is there any chance that you can offer your skills and experience on a consulting/contract basis? You will seem more attractive if the firm thinks they can get rid of you without much bother - they may even pay more for your hours/weeks/months to avail themselves of that advantage.

Failing that, is there anything other than your profession that would be interesting to you? This doesn't necessarily have to be flipping burgers for minimum wage.
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Old 31.10.2016, 12:41
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

good luck. i would imagine getting a job at 60 to be near impossible. you're expensive and also will not be working long term compared to a younger person who they can invest in (how true this is in the age of job hopping is another matter).

maybe offering yourself as a consultant could help bring down some barriers?
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Old 31.10.2016, 12:43
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

Good luck! I had 2 colleagues who found new jobs at that age, but it was not easy!
Crossing my fingers for you!
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Old 31.10.2016, 12:46
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

"Bon courage", as we say in French.

I like your analysis. I'm 61 and was forced to retire a month ago. However, I did not even bother to look for another job. It's consultancy with more free time and no idiots telling what to do from now on.

The young genius who gets paid lots for advice and then leaves for pastures new certainly resonates strongly. Their advantage is that the LMs do not have accept any responsibility, or think about things that make their heads hurt.

The aging, expensive been-there-done-that is also a repeating theme in today's modern company. They only cause trouble with all that knowing what they're talking about. Embarassing....
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Old 31.10.2016, 12:52
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

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The aging, expensive been-there-done-that is also a repeating theme in today's modern company. They only cause trouble with all that knowing what they're talking about. Embarassing....
They also tend to be really crap team players - really annoying when you've almost managed to get all the lemmings running towards the cliff.
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Old 31.10.2016, 12:54
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

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Ironic, isn't it, that on the one hand the Government is saying that for people under a certain age they will have to work until aged 67 before retiring, yet on the other the Government moans that older people aren't being hired.
This is a ticking time bomb that Swiss society needs to stop ignoring.

It is becoming increasingly the norm to fire Ü50 employees, a very large number of Swiss will not be able to work until retirement age. AHV based on 44 years of contributions is not realistic anymore, not to mention that the best years of one's earning life will be missing from the pension pot. If current trends continue, most people will only be able to work 30 or 35 years, with the hit to AHV funding and all the social consequences that go with the trend.

And yet society, led by our politicians, continue to stick it's head in the sand.

Most of the people I know in this situation - and I know many - have had to leave Switzerland. (Which would be a typical Swiss government plan - ignore the problem hoping it will go away.)

I sincerely wish you all the very best, TD.
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Old 31.10.2016, 12:56
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

Very eloquent rant. You are not alone. No sure about the computerised reply. Employees are often permanently plugged into their smart phones even at the weekend. But yes, some 20 year old HR saw your age. laughed heartily over their kebab & pressed the f* off reply button.
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Old 31.10.2016, 13:01
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

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Very eloquent rant. You are not alone. No sure about the computerised reply.
I can´t prove it but I am sure that programm deletes your application if you have more than x years of experience. And to add: also not proven, but not being Swiss .......

I have a 5 in my age, already clearly does not help finding something.

We need someone long term and you will retire in x years. Really? That young someone will leave after 2-3 years and then you need to search again. So who is better for longer term?

Rant over
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Old 31.10.2016, 13:06
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

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Very eloquent rant. You are not alone. No sure about the computerised reply. Employees are often permanently plugged into their smart phones even at the weekend. But yes, some 20 year old HR saw your age. laughed heartily over their kebab & pressed the f* off reply button.
I don't agree with this. many job postings get hundreds of applications. if these are scanned, then of course only the best matching cvs are remaining. with such amounts of applications, it is almost impossible for a company to write everyone a personalized rejection.
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Old 31.10.2016, 13:08
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

There's an OAPs job hunting group in Geneva for the over 45s. Stats say only one in five over the age of 50 can find a job.
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Old 31.10.2016, 13:11
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

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That's life, mate!

5 years off retiring and doubtless wishing to command desirable recompense for all that experience. Maybe it's time to think outside the box? Start-up? Different line of work all together??

PS. I'm 67 fully retired, but started a totally new line of work teaching English as a foreign language at 40...


Me too...........utterly fed-up with one snide rejection after another [that was already a fair while ago too] so decided to retrain {Wimbledon Teacher Training College who even give a discount for "candidates over a certain age"} as an TEFL tutor - never looked back. Love my students, all nationalities. One has been with me for 3.5 years now and made tremendous headway. Don't buckle under.....start your own small business. Good luck!
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Old 31.10.2016, 13:12
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

I did forget to mention that I do have Swiss citizenship...

...still makes a f*** all difference.

TD

p.s. Interestingly, the job for which I had a series of very positive interviews (but where the position is on hold) is not based in CH but - by the way the company is set up - remote working from CH is more than feasible and acceptable.

One other point worth cogitating upon: upon advice of a mentor for international/multinational companies my CV does NOT have either photograph or D.O.B. for Swiss companies it does contain both Photo and D.O.B.

One may criticise US business practice (and quite rightly in some situations) but the fact that a company has to be age/gender/race/disability blind is very much a positive (OK, OK, I know that's not always the case, but the legislation to make that happen is there).
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Old 31.10.2016, 13:17
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

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I did forget to mention that I do have Swiss citizenship...

...still makes a f*** all difference.

TD

p.s. Interestingly, the job for which I had a series of very positive interviews (but where the position is on hold) is not based in CH but - by the way the company is set up - remote working from CH is more than feasible and acceptable.

One other point worth cogitating upon: upon advice of a mentor for international/multinational companies my CV does NOT have either photograph or D.O.B. for Swiss companies it does contain both Photo and D.O.B.

One may criticise US business practice (and quite rightly in some situations) but the fact that a company has to be age/gender/race/disability blind is very much a positive (OK, OK, I know that's not always the case, but the legislation to make that happen is there).
You might not have to declare your age but your year of graduation and work expereince will make it loud enough.
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Old 31.10.2016, 13:28
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

I am 10 years younger than you, will only turn 50 next week and have the same problem, chuck in a handicap as an addition to everything you listed and described and your chances are zilch, zero, nada......and loads of talents and capacities are also worth nothing on the Swiss jobmarket unless you have a diploma of a kind.

For the time being I have given up searching for a job, it is disheartening to get either no reply or a generalised thanks, but no thanks one.

I am/was trying to find anything since 2013........and expressly applied only for lowly jobs, where they couldn't say NO coz of my deafness.

I am focussing for the next 6 months on my daughters and their (professional) well being. I need a break from it all.


I do wish you all the best in your search and hope there will be a door to a great job opening for you! Fingers crossed!!!

Good news from your search would give me some hope again,too!

Cheers
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Old 31.10.2016, 13:56
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

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You might not have to declare your age but your year of graduation and work expereince will make it loud enough.
Yes and no. Once went for an interview in Bruxelles [where we were living at the time] and saw interviewer had written in her notes "over 45?????". When I queried what difference age made and how she had come to this conclusion she said "your work history". Actually I was 42 at the time but had started working for Gebrüder Sulzer at a very early age. But what difference does age make anyway? What difference 2/3 years? Surely experience counts - or should do. Shortly after this incident, decided to retrain as above.
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Old 31.10.2016, 14:16
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

I believe this "Over 50, over the hill" mentality has been around a few decades, and not just here in Switzerland. Not far off 30 years ago my father, ex RAF, ex Pub landlord and a couple of other jobs on the way found himself again looking for work. Being over 50 he was getting rejection after rejection.

In the end he wrote back to one of the firms who rejected him and, very eloquently, pointed out that he was mature, reliable, not looking to climb the corporate ladder and in fact just wanted a secure job for the next 10 years until he retired. They were so amazed by this that they employed him, and in fact, a couple of years later tried to promote him to a supervisor position, which he refused. Retired at 65.

Good luck with your search and maybe such a letter might help?
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Old 31.10.2016, 15:10
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

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I am 10 years younger than you, will only turn 50 next week and have the same problem
It seems that after this 50 barrier, many people have problems. Since you're normally at the top of your career at this point, your last 15 years should be when you're minting it, so losing a job around 50 could be financially devastating.

Personally, I work on the assumption that I will no longer have a job from 50 onwards so either need to be able to retire by then, or have alternative plans for earning a living.

Planning/re-positioning for a 'secure job' around the ages of 45-50 may be well worth it if you can lock-in a 10-15 year job.
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Old 31.10.2016, 15:14
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Re: An Old Bloke's Odyssey - Trying To Find Employment in CH

And how many of the EF job hunters are even counted in the Swiss jobless rate? I'm not yet have been hunting for over a year. WRS FB page today states "Figures don't include those not entitled to unemployment benefit." This is news?!

This discussion has actually reminded me of a conversation a few months ago. 30ish bloke brought in to “streamline” shops of a certain brand. Proudly saying he fired 5 50+ managers & only rehired one to do the jobs of the others, so he had managed to cut costs for the shops drastically. I was horrified thinking of the poor b*rs who have lost their jobs knowing their chances of finding new jobs will not be good. I tried to say so but was told by the OH to shut up & not start an argument.


I imagine there are regional differences though to the rehiring probabilities.

Last edited by neddy; 31.10.2016 at 15:36. Reason: additional comment
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