Technology is changing the face of work. For millions, since the economic collapse of 2008, their definition of work has changed from an office job to working one or more jobs in retail or the service industry. Tens of thousands of people have been driven into the “algorithmic economy” working for Uber, Taskrabbit or Lyft. On the horizon is the specter of driver-less cars and trucks displacing millions of people in the United states alone as this tech prepares to make driving safer, more reliable and most importantly, people-free. Google has licensed a section of their computing capacity to create computer-written content for online publications. The pace of technological change is increasing.
When Mark Zuckerberg was 22, he said five words that might haunt him forever. ‘Younger people are just smarter,’ the Facebook wunderkind told his audience at Stanford University in 2007. “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” he stated. If you want to found a successful company, you should only hire young people with technical expertise.” This perspective has percolated throughout the technical industry of Silicon Valley and likely other cultures are getting on board.
Older Americans are already feeling the pinch of being between the rock of automation and the hard place of “only hiring people under 40.” They are without jobs unable to find quality work with a pay scale anywhere near what they had before the Economic Recession of 2008 and still a decade away from retirement.
While it’s illegal, under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, to pass up a potential employee for hire, or to fail to promote, or to fire a worker, for being too old, it is very difficult to prove and there are many stories from people who are over fifty and their job prospects look grim.
We want to hear from you: If you were displaced when 11 million Americans lost their jobs, how did you cope? What did this event spur you to do differently with your time? Did your family dynamic change? Was it a welcome or stressful change?
What kind of work did you find yourself in? Did this change your relationship with work? Did you use this time to reinvent yourself? Was it a welcome change from what you did?
What are older Americans to do in the meantime since many are at least ten years or more away from stop-gap measures like Basic Income or other governmental interventions?
Did you restructure your time to allow you more family time, more leisure, or as an opportunity to find new hobbies or past-times? Share some of your stories of struggle and success right here.
When you’re ready to submit, click the red box, below.
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