Friday, January 30, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Unemployed and over 60

Vicki Schweitzer (right), who is re-entering the job market after a company she worked for 16 years closed, discusses her résumé with teacher Esther Maron. Courtesy photo

By
From page A8 | January 04, 2013 |

By Mike Harris
Ventura County Star

Vicki Schweitzer, 61, has been looking for work for about a year.

“It’s not going very well,” said the former office manager, who lost her job in a downsizing during the economic downturn.

“There just doesn’t seem to be very much out there and a lot of them are asking for so many computer abilities it’s ridiculous,” she said. “I know I’m capable of learning different programs, because I have done that in the past, but that’s not, like, my strong suit.”

It should be, instructor Esther Maron advised her and other out-of-work baby boomers who took a four-week course designed to assist older job seekers, ages 50 to 64, in Simi Valley, Calif.

Maron’s course, “Get Noticed and Get That Job,” covered more than the need for older job seekers to be proficient in Office Word or Excel. The classes focused on self-awareness and assessment, how to stay motivated during the job search, how to create an effective resume, and how to market yourself.

There was some resistance. The final class consisted of mock job interviews with Maron playing the employer, but attendance was sparse. Maron said some students were loath to do the drill.

A message she hammered during the course was that in a technologically driven market, older workers need to be computer literate to compete with younger, tech-savvy applicants.

“The majority of seniors that I’ve spoken to, while they know their way around a computer, generally they don’t know their way well enough to qualify for some of the jobs that are there. And the prospective employer doesn’t want to teach them,” said Maron, 74, who ran a job-search business, Say It with Panache, in Los Angeles for 23 years.

More seniors than ever are choosing to work, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many don’t have enough money to retire, having lost jobs and savings during the recession and sluggish recovery.

Yet their unemployment rates are not as high as some other age categories.

The national unemployment rate for people 55 years or older in November was the lowest of any age demographic, 5.8 percent, the labor bureau reported. In contrast, the national rate for people 20 to 24 was 12.7 percent, and for those 25 to 34, it was 7.9 percent.

Maron offered unflagging encouragement to the handful of baby boomers who showed up for the third week of her course, noting privately that some are depressed about looking for work in a tough job market.

“Be positive!” she wrote on a white board. “You are the product! Maintain your enthusiasm! Personal contacts are important!” Forty-eight percent of all jobs are obtained through personal contacts, she told them.

Marian Rubinstein, 55, credits Maron “with giving us that can-do attitude that, you know, we can get it together.”

Rubinstein is trying to re-enter the workforce after 10 years away to raise a family.

“I’m just starting to put my toe in the water and getting my resume and cover letter together,” she said. Rubinstein, who used to work in real estate, said she’s looking for a sales job, “something involving people. I don’t think I’d be a good office person.”

Maron recounted how, in the first week of the course, she asked people in the class who had gone on a recent job interview. No one raised a hand.

“I think the big problem is that their presentation is such that they’re not getting their foot in the door,” she said. “But I truly believe that given the chance to get into an interview, they would be able to get very close to a job, if not get a job.”

Comments

comments

Scripps Howard News Service

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Schools give parents tools to help kids thrive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Suspected Ebola patient being treated at UCD Med Center

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Two more cases of measles in Northern California in children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Dartmouth bans hard liquor

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

     
    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

    Free tax preparation service begins Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    February science fun set at Explorit

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    See wigeons, curlews and meadowlarks at city wetlands

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Time for bed … with Grandma

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Protect root zone to save trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Weigh quality of life, density

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Olive expert joins St. James event

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Mustangs hold off UCD women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD men set new school D-I era win record

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sharks double up Ducks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: A9