There is a continuing trend in the labor market, where qualified and able persons above 50 years find it challenging to secure employment. The case study highlights the issue through Robert Delpizzo, a 56-year-old American citizen who has recently been rendered jobless through his contract’s termination. Robert lives with his wife and has been married for 30 years.
Robert is a computer programmer, and his last stint before being fired was an information technology project manager. The family resides in New Jersey. Robert has been out of employment for 19 months, and he is upset and sometimes sinks into hopelessness when faced with the harsh reality of joblessness. His wife is also unemployed. Their living conditions depict a middle socio-economic class. Both parties showcase an excellent general health status.
Statement of the Problem
The major underlying problem is unemployment, particularly for older adults that is 50 years and above. The retrenchment of persons in this age bracket is a challenge as they struggle to find other employment opportunities. The market opportunities available are such as salespersons, which require a specific skill set they lack. These lower positions require networking skills that are nurtured for some time, pushing them further down the pecking order. The additional skills required prove challenging to acquire at this age; thus, most remain unemployed.
The changing dynamics in employment from experience-based requirements to skill-based requirements accelerate makes getting an impossible task. The only advantage the older generation has is experience; thus can find a job as consultants. The issue created by consultancy is the work’s consistency as the threshold for contracts is less than 15 months. This reduces the momentum the person had in life as there is a possibility of the unrenewed contract; thus, they have to look for another employment opportunity.
Possible Areas of Concern
The primary area of concern is abrupt unemployment after a long stint being employed. Impromptu retrenchment can be unsettling for persons over 50 years as they had hinged all their hopes on a specific job. All through their career peaks to the layoffs, they focused on the job as they had job safety. They lack any other skill set that can be instrumental in joining a different line of employment. Their social development was hindered due to the closed workplace organization, which limited networking, thus slowing the learning process of different skills.
Emotionally, they are not prepared to handle job loss and can lead to mental issues such as depression. In the case study, Robert did not anticipate the job loss and was often upset throughout the two weeks he was accorded to provide information necessary for a smooth transition. He had insomnia, which is a symptom of a mental breakdown (Voss, Wadsworth, Birmingham, Merryman, Crabtree, Subasic and Hung, 2020). There are poor investment decisions and financial management in terms of lack of employee retirement plans. Unexpected layoffs leave the employees broke due to a lack of investments.
Mr. Robert is scared and anxious every morning that he is out of work. He states how tough it is waking up in the morning with no specified, laid out assignments to perform. This is eating him up and may lead to stress and depression. It is prudent for him to reestablish his meaning of life and reorganize his priorities. His unemployed state affects his marriage as he is upset most of the time, leading to wrangles with his wife. He should remedy his relationship with his wife to create a peaceful environment at home.
Robert’s issue is finding the right path in assimilating back into society regardless of his joblessness. Robert should focus on the personal and professional leadership model, which provides ways to deal with the situation by creating a positive mentality towards life after retrenchment. His story implies that he still looks at what he had: the job description, rather than focus on his achievements as his foundation.
Companies should develop strategies that seek to cut costs by minimizing organizational expenditures instead of firing employees. The cost control measures can include budgetary controls and internal audits. Dismissal of older employees significantly affects them emotionally and socially, leading to lower quality of life. Counseling sessions that aim at encouraging retrenched individuals to have a different perceptive in life should be established.
Organizations and employees should incorporate a savings plan into their employment contracts. The most appropriate savings plan should be monthly where a specified amount is deducted and paid out in lump sum or partial payments to employees in case of retrenchment or retirement. This shields the employees from being broke due to unexpected job losses.
Family institution support is paramount as one feels wanted thus has the strength to continue pushing for a job. Robert’s wife is very supportive as he encourages him rather than pressurizing him each day. The family’s role is to give moral support as it is the basis upon which he can reestablish himself.
The community should also encourage Robert instead of stigmatizing him due to his job status. The community is responsible for his seamless social integration by accepting his situation. The government should enact laws that make savings plans mandatory for all employees. The savings plan act as a retrenchment package as the amounts are paid after employment.
Voss, M. W., Wadsworth, L. L., Birmingham, W., Merryman, M. B., Crabtree, L., Subasic, K., & Hung, M. (2020). Health effects of late-career unemployment. Journal of Aging and Health, 32(1), 106-116.