Q: No one is addressing how long it will take for jobs to trickle down to us unemployed baby boomer sales management professionals. We are not going to be the recipients of the jobs President Barack Obama's program to rebuild the country's infrastructure will create. I was laid off recently and applied for a sales job at a good company. I have known the owners of the company for several years. They knew I had made good money and would do a good job for them, yet all they told me when I applied was that I was overqualified. It took me years to move up the income ladder. Since I was laid off, all those years of building security have been taken away, and I stand to lose my wife, my house and all that I own. What kind of mentality do hiring personnel have to respond by telling me I'd be bored and would continue looking if they hired me? I and most others in my position would be glad to make 50 percent less, because we all know that we are starting over in this economy. How should I respond to such an inappropriate statement?
A: Yes, the excuse the owners stated for not hiring you is ridiculous in this economy. And because many sales jobs pay primarily commissions, they would have lost nothing by hiring you for a trial period. Many employees gladly have accepted salary reductions over layoffs when presented with the choice, so you should have pointed out that getting bored would not be a possibility. You may have been too stunned to respond, but interviewing now is tougher than ever before. You must have all your explanations and responses rehearsed so you can deliver them naturally and with confidence. No matter what the state of the economy is, keep your mind in a state of success. Don't come across as desperate while interviewing for a sales position. People can feel others' desperation, and begging for a job, regardless of one's financial position, won't work.
Losing your wife is a different problem. Ask yourself whether your relationship always has been based on materialism. That type of relationship can't last in a difficult economy, and discovering one has few emotional connections to a spouse can be heart-wrenching. On the other hand, if you started out in an emotionally close marriage, see whether your wife is responding to your attitude regarding your layoff. Perhaps you are the one who has placed too much meaning on material possessions and are not allowing her to be your emotional support. Couples who once shared values can work through situations, but each spouse must commit to counseling and open up emotionally. Marriages with nothing but designer labels bonding them have harder roads ahead.
Standing by Your Man Takes Its Toll When He Is Guilty
Q: I've encountered numerous problems getting a job in my area, even though I have a bachelor's in economics and 10-plus years of office experience (three at a professional level). The problem is that after a highly publicized trial, my husband was convicted of numerous felonies. I openly defended my husband, but I moved away after the trial. I worked elsewhere without a problem, but after the birth of my first grandchild, I moved back to be closer to the rest of my family. If I use my married name, I can't even get an interview. If I use my maiden name, I get interviews but no job offers. On the Internet, my name still is linked to the stories about my husband. What can I do differently?
A: You may be encountering one of two separate problems: guilt by association, which you created by standing by your husband even though he was guilty, or age discrimination. If you are getting interviews using your maiden name, you might not be getting the jobs because of your age. Use your maiden name, and let people in your area get to know you. Let's hope they develop a respect for you on your own. From there, you may find employment.
Please send your questions to: Lindsey Novak, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. E-mail her at LindseyNovak@yahoo.com.
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