Like most Boomers, I am very aware that long term unemployment (unemployment lasting more than six months) during and since the end of the Great Recession is a major problem for those 50 and over. Then last week I discovered the web site www.overfiftyandoutofwork.com and the web site of the individual that made their documentary, Set for Life – http://www.staythirstymedia.com/201307-081/html/201307-sipprelle-down-cloud-ladder.html.
These two websites document the lives of the long-term unemployed and the lack of interest demonstrated by Congress and the Senate. The jobless rate for those over 50 remains around three million and does not include the underemployed, those who have be forced to take disability of Social Security at 62, or those who have dropped out due to discouragement.
“Set for Life” is an award winning video for sale on the site and the web site also offers more video stories if you click the Videos tab. There are 100 stories of unemployed older persons and a section giving information from the experts. Becoming entrepreneurial is not mentioned. Everything focuses on obtaining employment.
On the tab “Interact” you can read comments from other unemployed individuals. Despite the tough times they are all going through only one mentions self-employment. (at least only one self-employment comment one 7.28.13) Everyone else can only think “JOB”. The Boomer generation challenged many of society’s norms, but they very much bought into the idea of having a job and getting a paycheck and benefits. Of course, many Boomers are starting their own businesses, but my question is “Why are the long term unemployed Boomers not considering self-employment?” At least considering working for yourself seems like an obvious Plan B, that should be considered as one moves past six months of unemployment.
The right side panel lists the tags and entrepreneur is mentioned only twice. Then there are 13 entrepreneurial resources and two do not even relate to the over 50 age group. These articles/resources are also found under the tab “Resources”.
What I found most interesting though were two articles under Employment on why members of Generation Y are better qualified for jobs than Boomers with years of experience. “Why Gen Y Is Better at Your Job than You Are” and “Why Your Business Should Consider Reverse Mentorship.” Why? They have grown up with social media and are more comfortable with all aspects of computers, plus they see the world of work very differently. This includes starting a business out of mom and dad’s basement instead of taking an entry level job or being unemployed.
The message presented in these articles is for halfpreneurs of all ages is: Business today is SOCIAL! Sounds like a topic for another blog post.