2012-04-05 / Lifestyles

Coming out of retirement

Lois A. Corcoran

Over a decade ago, I interviewed my son’s kindergarten class to see what they wanted to be when they grew up. Without hesitation, one little girl answered, “A kitty cat.”

With Kelly’s graduation looming on the horizon, it’s time to figure out my own answer to that question.

To that end, I’ve been scanning the want ads and found one for an experienced cook. [Do TV dinners count?] And a truck driver. Never mind I find driving my car a challenge.

I also spent an hour tracking down my resume, which looks considerably yellower than when I filed it away. I blew the dust aside and grabbed my reading glasses for a closer inspection. It appears I last updated it during Reagan’s term.

At the time, it looked reasonably impressive, listing everything short of catching bullets in my teeth. But 20 years later, I’ve gone from walking on water to treading thin ice.

Maybe it was all that technological progress in the interim. Or the fact that employers only care about the last 10 years. Whatever the case, I’m sprucing it up with what might be referred to as literary fiction.

My resume isn’t the only thing behind the times though. Having spent two decades in casual mode, I need a refresher course in Wardrobe 101. But the mere thought of letting go of my stretch jeans causes separation anxiety.

In theory, interviews work both ways. Ideally, we should question each other to see if the employer is a good fit. But with today’s market, I’d be better off on bended knee pledging my next born.

Scratch that. Given half a century on the planet, it’s unlikely I’ll need maternity leave. I can only hope that’s a selling point.

It’s more apt to work against me though. According to an anonymous post in an Internet forum, age discrimination is alive and well. “Managers tell me they want [workers with] fresh ideas,” she wrote, “not someone who looks like their parents.”

Knowing that only makes me more nervous for that all-powerful interview. According to author Karen Burns, experts recommend that “older job seekers make an extra effort at posture” to “project youthful enthusiasm.” To further the charade, I’ll schedule it to follow my afternoon nap.

Or is the time ripe to pursue that college degree? I wonder how many years are required to be a kitty cat.

Return to top