This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

How to Keep Your Job When You're Over 50

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Need to work longer before retiring? Older worker, beware! A bull's-eye is being stenciled on your back. This can put a crimp in the best-laid plans.

Fifteen percent of the unemployed are over 55. Of those out of work for more than a year, the over 55 represent 45%. This means only about 10% have found another job. These lucky workers though may not be dancing in the streets because most have taken wage cuts.

Is it discrimination? There is nothing illegal about hiring someone who isn't a good fit and there are plenty of reasons older workers may not be a good fit, such as being less productive, having dated skills and being averse to change.

Studies show mental abilities to reason peak in the late twenties and early thirties, reflexes and strength start to go around the same time. Verbal fluency is the last to go; it can last into the fifties. Generally productivity starts declining in the thirties.

Banking on experience being a productivity equalizer? A study in Finland found experience-related performance improvements peak at four years. Some speculate that the value of experience is on the decline; the culprit is the Internet. There are plenty of people sharing the tricks of the trade and all it takes is a clickety click.

Speaking of clickety click -- that's another reason productivity in older workers declines. They are less likely to leverage the many productive powers of technology because they don't need it. Who needs to bank online when you can hand write checks, retabulate balances, address envelopes, buy stamps and put them in the post?

A less productive, behind the times worker looking to maintain a salary twice a younger worker's rate are ample reasons for someone not to be a good fit.

So it's not really surprising that older job seekers are finding it tough going. For any midlifer that wants to keep their job, it's important to stay off a layoff short list and out of the boss' termination sights by staying productive and valuable -- earning your keep.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $110.38 0.00%
FB $92.07 0.00%
GOOG $626.91 0.00%
TSLA $247.57 0.00%
YHOO $30.71 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,472.37 +200.36 1.23%
S&P 500 1,951.36 +27.54 1.43%
NASDAQ 4,707.7750 +80.6910 1.74%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs