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How to Keep Your Job When You're Over 50

Everyone has had a boss that makes her crazy. It may be non-role model-like behaviors or it could be policies the boss finds necessary that employees just don't care for, like wage freezes. Don't become that negative source or squeaky wheel -- the employee malcontent that infects the work environment takes a bite out of everyone's productivity. That will make a boss miserable. Rule #1, never forget who signs your paycheck.

One last thing: the days of getting annual automatic increases are over. Employers pay employees based on the productive value of a job. There are three reasons for this: skills can be dated and less valuable, worker supply for a job position can exceed demand, and low cost competitors can arrive from New Mexico, Montana or Malaysia.

Next time the thought of asking for a raise surfaces, check the local market value of positions similar to your own. You could find you're overpaid. If you are, don't be surprised if one day you are asked to accept a lower wage to stay employed. If that's aggravating, before telling the boss to shove it, take the time to assess how easy or hard it may be for a midlifer to become re-employed and what types of wages other possible employers are offering. It's possible the future could get bleaker.

It's a lot easier to keep a good job than to find another one, especially for the older worker whose stereotype says bad fit in several ways. Stay valuable to the boss and a bullseye won't be stenciled on your back.

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