Several times now, my lovely readers, I have ranted about the discrimination that often occurs in the workplace (and job search) against generation Y. I know I have talked this to death, but having a 62-year-old job seeker in my household has allowed me to see things from another perspective, perhaps for the first time!

My beautiful and talented mother had a job interview last week, and ultimately was not offered the position. We were all shocked, because she has a great attitude, and even told them she would take less money per hour than they were offering. She even said, and this is the whole reason behind my utter confusion, that she planned on working for another five or six years. WOAH. I don’t think anyone in the workplace, in this modern day and age, really plans (or wants) to stay with an employer for longer than two years. I thought this opinion could purely be my GENY mindset, so I did some research. And this is what I found:

The average number of years someone stays at a job is “Three to five years with jobs held between the ages of 18 and 38 having the shortest duration (source America’s Dynamic workforce: 2006; U.S. Department of Labor)” So now it is 2010, I’m sure this number is even less…

From the bureau of labor statistics:

“Younger baby boomers held an average of 10.8 jobs from ages 18 to 42. (In this report, a job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particular employer.) On average, men held 10.7 jobs and women held 10.3 jobs. Both men and women held more jobs on average in their late teens and early twenties than they held in their mid thirties.

Twenty-three percent held 15 jobs or more, while 14 percent held zero to four jobs. For additional statistics on the number of jobs held, see the tables at: www.bls.gov/nls/y79r22jobsbyedu.pdf.

From UW-Marathon County:

“The average twenty-something entering the job market for the first time this year can expect, on average, 9 to 13 job changes in a working lifetime.  (Put differently:  the average job in America now lasts only 3.6 years.)  Those are projected median figures, which means that 50% of you can expect more job changes than that.”

So, all of these stats considered, to have someone say they want to stay with your company for five years and mean it (I mean, we’ve all said it, right?) should make that candidate a top contender. Perhaps the other candidate was willing to work for ten more years, or twenty… most likely that entire duration would not be spent at this particular company. Just food for thought…

So, was this age discrimination… poor Barbie didn’t have time to get her hair dyed before the interview? I’m not sure, but I was certainly impressed by her devotion to six more years in the workplace.

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I used to be an interior designer, now I'm in marketing. But I have always been jewliweb.

2 responses »

  1. Great blog, I never thought I’d gain so much insight and perspective from someone like you, you should definitely someone to pursue you for work soon.

  2. Without knowing all the specifics (who the other candidates were, etc.), it’s hard to say if age discrimination came into play. It certainly does exist, along with other forms of discrimination. But going down that path is an exercise in futility — unless something is said or done that gives iron-clad proof of discrimination, it’s up for speculation.

    I sympathize with your mom as this was something that my husband and I thought about during his job search last year because he has a hearing loss. Were there some companies that didn’t hire him because of it? Possibly. But really, if they were going to discriminate, did he truly want to work there anyway?

    If Barbie is up for doing things that will convey a more youthful appearance (dyeing her hair, wearing a wardrobe that is appropriately contemporary, and so on), it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Best of luck to her in her search!

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