Kim Cattrell Is My New Hero!

by DavalosMcCormack on June 29, 2010

computers,technology is the new keeping up with the Jones.

Learn it or die!

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who is worried about her job.  She is an executive in a huge media company and has been told that her job may be in jeopardy if she doesn’t improve her performance in three months. She is facing a situation not uncommon to people in the over 40 age bracket.  Her salary is more than new hires get and her knowledge of “new” media is not as deft.  She is caught in the cross-hairs of her boss’s radar, and he’s looking carefully at everything she produces.  As a result, she can’t do anything right!  Ever had that experience?

When your work is in question, your mental health suffers!

It’s interesting how the over 40 workforce who have enjoyed long term careers are now hitting, not the glass ceiling, but the age/technology wall.  If your work did not evolve as technology and the web did, you have been left at  the station without a train in site.  So my friend is hysterically trying to learn 10 years of  computing savvy in the next 3 months which will improve her job skills, improve her performance, and change the  attitude her boss has about her.  Yeah, I don’t think it will happen either!  Because right now, everything she does, in her boss’s eyes is wrong or not good enough. So she doesn’t feel valued and she is running scared!

Is it age or is it the job?

Now I’m not saying that there is a conspiracy going on, or perhaps a wicked plan which has been hatched to undermine my friend, but I did sent her this information for Age Discrimination in Employment Act:

Compliance with the WARN Act: Under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, commonly known as the WARN Act, employers with 100 or more employees must provide 60 days notice to employees, unions and local government prior to closing a plant or laying off at least 33 percent of their workforce. Other requirements may also apply.

Compliance with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act: Compliance with this law is essential to obtaining valid releases of Age Discrimination in Employment Act claims from employees who are over 40 years old. Under the act, for instance, a valid release of an employee’s age claim must include, among other information, the job titles and ages of all individuals selected for the layoff, as well as the ages of all individuals in the same job classification or organizational unit who are not selected for termination. The act establishes other specific requirements for valid releases, and companies should consult with legal counsel to ensure that releases are drafted in compliance with the act and any state laws governing age discrimination claims.

If it’s time to leave, go gracefully!

Here’s some advice for those who are going through similar situations;

1- First of all, get a grip – That’s right take a breath, and do not let the situation run rampant in your mind.  You are not the first or last person to be laid-off, fired, let go, whatever you want to call it!

2- Assess your situation in a calm realistic manner.  You have to think carefully about what your options are.  Staying in a job that has become toxic is not a healthy choice.  It may even be for the best to leave that kind of poisonous environment.

3- Do not be valued by what you “think” others are saying about you.  Do not let others define you! This is very hard to do because you may well feel frightened about the future, but one of the best things you can do is recognize what you are thinking and make an effort to control your thoughts.  Wild as it may seem, you may feel out of control, but the one thing you have every right to do is to become the master of your thoughts.  Don’t become a victim of random thoughts that will not benefit you.

4- Begin to develop a plan for your career.  What are your goals.  Do some research in your chosen field.

5- Start to look for another job.  It’s so much easier to find a job when you have one.  (Take time after work, evenings or weekends to do research.)

6-  Take care of yourself.  Get enough sleep, exercise, eat well.

7- Eliminate the negative:  Go on a positive diet!  Be with positive people, read only good news, take care to focus on good ideas.

8- Do activities that you enjoy with friends and begin to let your trusted group know you are looking.

9- Do the best your best at work.  If you don’t feel like you can muster up a good attitude, pretend!  Right, really confuse them by being polite and kind and try to find ways to help other colleagues.

10- Smile

11- Remember the Latin phrase, illegitimi non carborundum, which loosely translates to “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. They have already told you they are letting you go so what is the worst they can do now? Use the time you have left to start looking for another job and don’t worry if your boss thinks you are slacking off. What are they going to do, fire you again?

12- Don’t quit. Some people get angry and say “you can’t fire me, I quit” but really, who are you hurting here. They get rid of you faster and you don’t qualify for unemployment insurance.

I know none of this seems easy, but the alternative is to be scared, ineffective, miserable!  That’s is not who you are, now is it.

Looking back on this I seem to have forgotten to write about Kim Cattrell. I’ll get to that next time.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: