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When Work Experience is No Longer Valued

Posted Oct 01 2009 12:00am

I started this blog over four years ago because I empathized with men in distress over their ability to provide financially for their families. One of my first articles published online was entitled, "Why I Identify With Midlife Men."

I've had my "men" issues, having grown up in a iron-fisted, Sicilian home. Those were the days when men were allowed two emotions: angry and drunk.

Fast forward 20 years and I see men who are compassionate, caring and concerned fathers and partners. What I also see is men in their 50s who look like they've been drop-kicked and missed the goal post.

Goal Post in Action
 
Companies are divesting their most prized assets in these fragile economic times: Professionals and  managers with impressive skills.

"I've had 30 years in IT," said David Kozlowski, a systems VP laid off in June. He wanted to know how far to go back in his work experience when an interviewer asks. And that hiring manager probably wasn't even born when Dave started his career.

We've seen these cycles come and go. Whether we call it reorganizing, downsizing or just plain "company layoffs," it's still boils down to this: Men and women with wisdom and grit are being displaced by forces beyond their control predicated on a lot of mismanagement.

What's a person to do?

I'd like to echo Nancy Nituama, an unemployed librarian with two master's degrees, who said at a recent work-force seminar, "We could start a new society with all the talent in this room."

I suggest we take her advice. The revolution has begun in our hearts and our minds. Let's turn our anger into action and build a world where there is no waste of money, talent OR emotion.

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