Posts Tagged ‘Employment’

Ramblings of a Gen X Worker

Professional with Banana

Yes, I am over 40. *Gasp* I know, it’s not safe to admit it, but I own up to it. I’ve lived more than four decades and now finally am considering myself around middle aged. As a matter of fact, I do fully intend to see my centennial birthday, so to me it’s not a stretch.

Lately all the hype online is how to attract and keep the young employees. You know the ones, Millennials, Centennials, still in-utero, whatever; you know what I’m saying. But what of us in the sandwich generation, why didn’t we get our chance to have a great say in…well, in anything?

Coming behind “The Greatest Generation” and Baby Boomers, we had some big shoes to fill. Many of us were born during a war, had depression-era parents, and then lived through or participated in another war. I like to think that made us scrappy. We knew how bad things could be, so we tried to keep our heads down and get the job done.

What about now? Why is it so hard for many of our generation to find work in our fields?

Funny choice of words there, fields. Sometimes it seems many of us have been put out to pasture. Hey, we’re in our prime here! After all, fifty is the new thirty and all that. Yet many of my generation find themselves unable to secure employment, and everyone is focusing on how to get at the younger generation.

I have news for you; we’re still relevant.

Many of us are empty nesters or close to it. We’re not chasing after young children or fretting over babysitters. We have a renewed energy and the time and focus to get the job done. We also have the work ethic to find a job and stick with it. We’re not looking for quick riches in a shortened work week. We don’t expect to have everything handed to us. Some may even be looking to travel or relocate. Who knows!

Luckily I have a job that I really enjoy and a great gig as a freelance writer. Many in my generation aren’t as fortunate. And that’s too bad. So to all of the recruiters out there and human resources managers contemplating someone over forty, give them a shot. We bring experience and patience, logic and wisdom.

And if that internet thing doesn’t catch on, we Gen Xers will still know how to function.


Roxanne Wilmes is a freelance writer, author, ghostwriter, and thirty year survivor of the restaurant and hospitality industry currently with AmericInn Hotel & Suites.


Three Tips for Better References


I was discussing references and résumés with a colleague recently.  As someone who’s been on both sides of the hiring table, I thought I’d pass along three tips to help with your list of references.

  • When you’re deciding whom to list, try to use people who are familiar with your work.  Skip the personal contacts.   Supervisors or peers from previous employment are great references since it shows you’re not afraid to back up what you’re saying on your résumé.
  • If you are using someone from a group or association you’re involved in, be sure to give them a copy of your résumé. First of all, they may know of an opening but don’t know all of your qualifications, ergo an opportunity lost. Second, if you want them to speak of your greatness, they should have an idea of your work history. If they don’t, they may come across as someone who doesn’t really know you, and that will not go over well for sure.
  • List five people. Yes, five. I know some places only ask for three, but what if one of your references is on vacation, or is just really bad about returning calls? It’s better to have a couple extra listed and not need them than to only have a few. And, this may seem like common sense, but make sure to verify with them that it’s okay to use them as a reference. A surprise call to a past employer could backfire. Let them know what type of companies you’re applying to and for what kind of work.

On your reference sheet, list their complete name, title, company, phone number, and city/state as a minimum. I know some people list emails, but I always called when checking references—you can’t tell tone of voice in an email.  And you better believe that if I knew someone who worked for a previous employer, I called.  Even if they weren’t on the list, that was just being thorough.