Finding my current job was the toughest job hunt I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some whoppers over the years. The search took more than a year, I didn’t keep track of how many ads I answered or contacts I got in touch with, but it’s safe to say more than 100 or so.
The tepid economy had something to do with it, but more than that I think my age is finally coming into play. It’s not that anyone came right out and said they wouldn’t hire an old guy (well, one person actually did but let’s call him an outlier; he knew me personally and so likely felt more comfortable being completely honest than most hiring managers would be).
It wasn’t my age per se but a general stereotype that someone my age couldn’t possibly be up on all the latest technology when it comes to journalism or what’s today more commonly called content generation and content management. And my decision to walk away from journalism for two years just reinforced that negative view of what I could and could not do.
I ended up completely redoing my resume, taking out any use of the word editor, which is what I’ve thought of myself as professionally, and substituting content creator, generator and manager. I also switched from applying for pure journalism jobs to seeking out jobs with research angles since I had been working at a market research firm and my most recent experience was what seemed to get the most attention from potential employers.
So how did it all work out? I’ll have more on that tomorrow.
John N. Frank