A reader writes:
Thank you for the outlet. I am a 58 year-old male, and my white hair proves it. I was laid off an executive position in a real estate company in January 2009. I directed international marketing programs and was responsible for over $200 million in transactions. But I have been unable to find work, even well below my former position. I am told that I appear too smart, too qualified. I have applied for many, many jobs - jobs I could do in my sleep.
Playing by the rules, I post and scour Monster and Career Builder to no avail, not even an interview. When I see a job that particularly fits my skills, I break the "rules" and contact the employer directly and consistently. Still, no job. The State of Florida has a service to help the unemployed. When I met with my counselor, she was shocked that with my resume I didn't have a job. As we pursued opportunities, she finally suggested that I dumb down my resume. That proved a bit difficult. I was in charge of a large development marketing operation. My former company was extremely successful (until the financial world changed and mortgages disappeared).
How do I feel? I cry. From there it is anger, then depression. As I like to say, I lost my job that January, and lost my pride by June. I have now lost hope. I eat very little during the day then my (employed) girlfriend comes home and I cook dinner. She has been terrific. She is more worried about me than our finances. As I like to tell her, I guess I used up all my good luck when I met her.