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2014-05-14    来源:向Anne提问    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Dear Annie: I wonder what you and your readers think about my situation. After 20-plus years rising through the ranks at a Fortune 500 company, I turned around a small division and made it profitable in 2008, and have been running it since then. Now my business unit is being merged with a different operation, as part of a restructuring. I've been offered a very generous retirement package, and I'm willing to take it, but I'm nowhere near ready to stop working. At 61, and in excellent health, I feel I have at least 10 or 15 highly productive years ahead of me.
亲爱的安妮:您和您的读者能否考虑一下我的现况。我在一家《财富》500强公司(Fortune 500 )工作了20多年,期间不断得到升职。2008年,我带领一个小部门扭亏为盈,之后我就一直在负责那个部门的工作。但现在,作为公司重组的一部分,我的部门将与另外一个部门合并。公司给了我一笔非常慷慨的退休金,我也很愿意接受,可我现在还不想退休。我如今才61岁,身体非常健康,我感觉至少还能坚持以高效率工作10到15年。

My concern is, will potential employers agree? I've been told I "don't look my age" (a backhanded compliment, for sure), but how marketable am I? Should I leave dates off my resume -- the year I graduated from college, for instance? Do you have any advice for me? -- Still Kicking

Dear SK: "If you're good at what you do, age isn't an issue," says Charles Wardell, president and CEO of executive search firm Witt/Kieffer. "Look at Warren Buffett. He's 82, and nobody's saying he should head out to pasture." True. Berkshire-Hathaway (BRKA) investors, among others, probably wish they could clone him.

At Witt/Kieffer, headhunters are finding that employers increasingly want managers with a decades-long track record of success. Consider: In 2012, about 14% of the CEOs the firm placed were over age 60, up from 3% a decade earlier. For C-suite jobs overall, the figures were about the same: 13% over age 60 vs. 3% in 2002.

Those big jumps are no fluke. According to the latest stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment declines with age. Last month, the jobless rate stood at 7.6% for 25-to-34-year-olds; 5.9% for ages 35 to 44; and 5.7% for the 45-to-54-year-old cohort. The jobless rate for people 55 and up, at 5.3%, was the lowest of any age group.
这种巨大的变化并非意外。据美国劳工统计局(Bureau of Labor Statistics)最近的统计数据显示,美国失业率随着年龄增长而呈下降趋势。上个月,25至34岁年龄段的失业率为7.6%;35至40岁为5.9%;45至54岁为5.7%。而55岁以上年龄段的失业率为5.3%,是所有年龄段中的最低水平。

Granted, that's much higher than the unemployment rate for people 55 and older in pre-recession 2007 -- a tiny 3.1%. But on the other hand, for proof that experience is king, contrast that current 5.3% with the rate for new college grads (ages 20-24): a whopping 13.5%.

Since you turned around a troubled division -- a highly marketable skill anytime, but especially in this still-shaky economy -- your job hunt should be pretty smooth sailing, as long as you approach it with care, Wardell says. First, line up references at your current company who will vouch for your achievements: "At your level, strong recommendations from colleagues and higher-ups are crucial."

Then, when you speak with recruiters and employers, "get very specific about what each employer needs and how your skills fit," Wardell suggests. "The key is to make sure that what you bring to the job is exactly what they're looking for." Putting in the time and attention to find precisely the right fit can prevent hiring managers from bringing up the dreaded "O" word (for "overqualified").

Don't worry if you have to take a step down in title or pay to get a foot in the door at a company where you really want to work, Wardell says: "It's a mistake to get hung up on titles. Vice president, director, or some other title, who cares? And if the starting pay a company offers is a few thousand dollars a year less than you've been earning in your current position, don't make that a sticking point, either. You never know where you'll be, in both rank and compensation, 18 months down the road when you've had a chance to show what you can do."

As for whether you should fudge the dates on your resume, or leave them off altogether, Wardell says not. "So many employers consider age to be an advantage now, there's no reason to hide it," he notes. "Be very upfront about it, and then focus the discussion on what you bring to the job that competing candidates -- whatever their date of birth -- may not be able to offer."

Wardell speaks from firsthand experience, by the way. A decorated Vietnam veteran who held management jobs at American Express (AXP), Citi (C), and elsewhere earlier in his career, he was 66 when he got the top job at Witt/Kieffer in 2011. "I was picked over other, much younger candidates," Wardell says. You can be, too.
沃德尔的建议都来自他的亲身经历。他是一位载誉而归的越战老兵,在职业早期曾在美国运通(American Express)、花旗集团(Citi)等公司担任管理职位。2011年,66岁的沃德尔成为Witt/Kieffer公司的最高领导人。他说:“其他候选人都比我年轻,但我却被选中了。”你同样可以做到。

Talkback: If you're 55 or older, do you believe you've encountered age bias in a job search? If you've changed jobs recently, what helped you get hired? Leave a comment below.

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