Unemployment for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

The news that comes to us month after month of hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs is staggering. The numbers are so large it is almost impossible to comprehend the impact. We quickly think about money problems, repossessed cars and foreclosed homes as a potential impact for families who are impacted. Indeed, it is a scary time for multitudes of families.

Beyond the obvious financial impact, there is also an emotional cost to being “let go.” In some ways it is easier if an entire store or plant closes down and everyone working there is affected. However, it seems more personal when a company or organization chooses to keep some people and let others go. This can strike at the core of our self-worth and how much value we feel we bring to an organization.

My observations have been that losing one’s job is in some ways more difficult for older adults and those with disabilities. Older adults may already feel the pressure of staying relevant and needed. People with disabilities may feel like their coworkers constantly underestimate them because of their differences. Being “let go” can throw an emotional hand grenade in the midst of these already present struggles.

Perhaps it is best for everyone to find a personal counselor in addition to the career counselor. Some people can serve as both. If you are struggling with self-worth and self-esteem issues it will have an impact on your performance in seeking new employment. Job searching is really a complex management project that requires you to be at your best.

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One thought on “Unemployment for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

  1. Thanks, Terry, for that insight.
    The day I was laid off, my 58 year old friend was laid off the same day. She was so close to retirement, yet now has to find a job again. And while companies cannot discriminate against somebody because of their age, I wonder how many companies do it, with the defense that the person wasn’t qualified enough or “just didn’t seem like a good fit for their company.”

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