“Ellipses and emoji: How age affects communication at work”
One Friday afternoon, Stuart Horgan sent off a big presentation to his 56-year-old manager. “And he just responds, ‘Thanks … enjoy the weekend …’” Horgan, a millennial, said. “I definitely looked at the presentation for probably like six hours that weekend trying to figure out what was wrong with it.” In struggling to understand correspondence stripped of exclamation marks and smiley faces, Horgan is not alone. Older colleagues, meanwhile, are feeling similarly bothered by the writing conventions of people their junior. “OK, now you look like you’re 10,” said 48-year-old Alex Mahlke of emails packed with emoji. “Do we not have language anymore?” How to get over this workplace hurdle? Not in writing, that’s for sure.
“Wilber Ruiz, left, hoped to retire to his native Peru by now, but at 67 he’s still at work retrieving carts and greeting customers at a Giant supermarket in Ashburn, Virginia. – The Pew Charitable Trusts
“ASHBURN, Va. — At 76, Anne Doane is still stocking shelves in a Wegmans here, leaning to fill a display with hairbrushes as Don Henley’s ‘Boys of Summer’ plays over the store’s sound system.
“‘I never saved throughout my life, so therefore I have to do this,’ Doane said. ‘And because I like it. I want to get out of the house. I want to talk to people. And I need the money.’
“More U.S. workers are working after turning 65, both out of financial necessity and to stay busy, a trend the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees increasing over the next 10 years. The bureau projects the share of seniors working or actively looking for jobs to rise from 19.6% in 2018 to 23.3% in 2028, nearly double the rate of 1998, when it was less than 12%.
“More than 165,000 seniors are working in grocery stores, earning an average of about $31,000 a year. About half of the more than 9 million workers 65 and older are in retail, health care, business services or education, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a Stateline analysis of Current Population Survey microdata.”
by Lauren Popham, PhD
“We weren’t surprised when more than half of women responding to a survey we conducted with Ipsos said they are worried about outliving their savings. Income is tied to lots of aspects of aging, but the way that plays out once you turn 60 is very different for men and women. One major reason: the gender pay gap.
“A lifelong problem
“Women are more likely to experience financial insecurity than men, and this discrepancy becomes even more pronounced later in life. Making less than their male coworkers means women have less money saved when they retired, and will draw less money from Social Security once they’re eligible. We’re left with sobering statistics like this from the Health and Retirement Study: half of women age 60 or older have household incomes below $39,600, yet the median income for men in the same age range is $55,000.
“Despite entering retirement age at a disadvantage, women tend to live longer and face more out-of-pocket costs for things like medication each year.”
Recall the 2015 movie, The Intern with Robert DeNiro?
AARP reports, “The job market is looking bright for older Americans who are looking for jobs.
“If you think older workers are sitting around twiddling their thumbs, hesitant to contact employers in a tightening labor market, you’d be wrong. In February, the unemployment rate for those 55 and older was 3.2 percent — nearly a full point lower than the overall 4.1 percent rate for the entire U.S. population and drastically lower than the 14.4 percent rate for teens.”
“For the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace at the same time, says entrepreneur Chip Conley. What would happen if we got intentional about how we all work together? In this accessible talk, Conley shows how age diversity makes companies stronger and calls for different generations to mentor each other at work, with wisdom flowing from old to young and young to old alike.” – Watch this energizing 12-minute TEDTalk.
by Andrew Soergel
“CHICAGO (AP) — Nearly one-quarter of Americans say they never plan to retire, according to a poll that suggests a disconnection between individuals’ retirement plans and the realities of aging in the workforce.
“Experts say illness, injury, layoffs and caregiving responsibilities often force older workers to leave their jobs sooner than they’d like.
“According to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 23% of workers, including nearly 2 in 10 of those over 50, don’t expect to stop working. Roughly another quarter of Americans say they will continue working beyond their 65th birthday.
“According to government data, about 1 in 5 people 65 and older was working or actively looking for a job in June.”
“Most Older Americans Face Age Discrimination in the Workplace, New Survey Finds: Forty-five percent say the growing trend toward delayed retirement is good for the economy.”
“Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think: Here’s how to make the most of it.” – The Atlantic
“The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, professional decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks.”
by Arthur C. Brooks
“‘It’s not true that no one needs you anymore.’
“These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The plane was dark and quiet. A man I assumed to be her husband murmured almost inaudibly in response, something to the effect of ‘I wish I was dead.’
“Again, the woman: ‘Oh, stop saying that.’
“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but couldn’t help it. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started.
“At the end of the flight, as the lights switched on, I finally got a look at the desolate man. I was shocked. I recognized him—he was, and still is, world-famous. Then in his mid‑80s, he was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago.”
This a “long read” — but maybe just right for a Sunday (or any other) morning. Click here to read this article at The Atlantic.
“Do People With Disabilities Earn Equal Pay? | America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers” – US Census Bureau
Overall, workers with a disability earn less than workers who do not have a disability. Yet, depending on the types of work they do, much of the difference in median earnings disappear.
Today, a record 9 million people with a disability work. While these workers, age 16 and older, are spread throughout the labor force, workers with a disability tend to concentrate in certain jobs depending on their age and particular disability.
Among people working similar jobs and schedules, the median earnings for workers with a disability are either very close to, or not different from, earnings for workers with no disability.
The most common occupation for people with a disability is janitors and building cleaners, where about 300,000 workers with disabilities find employment. They make up 11 percent of workers in this occupation.
Other large occupations for workers with disabilities are:
- Drivers/sales workers/truck drivers.
- Retail salespersons.
- Laborers and freight, stock and material movers.
Photo via Unsplash
by Jenny Wise
Having a disability shouldn’t prevent you from going after your career goals. While your job search will likely look very similar to that of someone without disabilities, you may face a few unique challenges along the way. Here are some tips to help you hit the ground running with your job hunt and land a position where you can let your skills shine.
Focus on What You Do Best
Anyone looking for a job should focus on their strengths above all else. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind the kinds of things you need in an ideal work environment and narrow your search to jobs where your disability will not limit you in any way. But it’s also crucial to think about the things you can do best! Avoid fixating on your limitations. Make a list of your greatest strengths to help you decide on a career field where you will thrive.
When you eventually go for an interview, use these strengths as your jumping off point. Talk about all of the things you can do well. Consider coming up with a short, but powerful, elevator pitch that reflects the unique ways you can benefit the company. Think about what drives you, why you are motivated to try your best every day, what aspects of the job you’re passionate about, and why you would be the perfect fit for the job. This really shows hiring managers that you’re driven to succeed.
Hiring managers love to see that a potential employee is confident in their abilities. You can display this confidence by addressing your disability in your interview and demonstrating how it does not affect your ability to do great things. If you feel uncomfortable disclosing your disability, that’s okay too! You don’t have to tell your interviewer anything you don’t want to. However, many people feel their confidence soar when they use their disability to show how they’ve overcome challenges or dealt with judgment in a constructive way.
Asking questions is another great way to show interviewers that you’re extremely driven. Do your research on the company and come prepared with a few questions about the organization. This really shows that you know what you’re talking about. You can also ask questions about development opportunities, professional responsibilities, and what success in the position would look like.
Craft a Skills-Based Resume
If you haven’t been employed for a while or you’ve switched jobs a lot in the past, a skills-based resume is your best bet. Instead of listing work history and education in chronological order, a skills-focused resume displays the targeted skills that make you uniquely qualified for the job. Adjust your resume for each job you apply for, listing a different combination of skills tailored to each position. Check out this article from Career Sidekick for help tailoring your resume to a specific job.
On your resume and in your interview, try to show your skills rather than simply telling about them. Avoid using clichés such as “hard-working” or “strong attention to detail.” Instead, use facts, numbers, and results to display your accomplishments.
Know Your Rights
As you go through the job-hunting process, make sure you have a solid understanding of your rights as a person with a disability. There are several federal laws that protect you from discrimination both during the job application process and in the workplace. For example, employers cannot reject you just because you cannot perform tasks that are not essential to the job position. Your employer must also make reasonable accommodations to help you do your job, like adjusting work schedules or modifying equipment. You can learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act on FindLaw.
Companies today are realizing the valuable talents and skills that people with disabilities bring to their businesses. While it may have been extremely challenging to find work in the past, the future of employment for people with disabilities looks promising. More and more companies are providing accommodations, advancement opportunities, and accessible tools for people with disabilities, allowing them to thrive in jobs they enjoy.