Layoffs for Baby Boomers-Can They Be a Good Thing?-Guest Blogger Jim Armstrong

Layoffs and Baby Boomers is the focus of a post by guest author-James Armstrong. Read this cutting edge article below. After you read it think about how if you or anyone you know is laid off how they can use blogging in their transition phase.


Turning a Layoff into Success by James O. Armstrong

Baby boomers are probably disadvantaged by being older. While our society, in both the U.S. and Canada, is largely beyond the point of discrimination by race, gender, nationality or religious preference, for example, I do believe there is an age-based discrimination that has continued among some companies. I deplore this situation and consider it to be something that we will get beyond principally based on supply and demand factors in the future.

Typically, companies tend to focus on older employees from the standpoint of downsizing or rightsizing formulas. Oftentimes, the formula focuses on your age and years of service, which in effect is a double weighting on age. So, someone who is 52, 55 or 61 years old winds up being out of a job.

Professional HR departments in companies cannot admit publicly that by lowering their average age, they lower both their overall payroll and fringe benefit costs. In the United States, this factor especially relates to the total healthcare costs because as we get older, we tend to use doctors, hospitals, medical tests, prescriptions and dentists more frequently.

Begin to make plans today

If you anticipate that there will be a reorganization in your company, you should begin to make plans today. Of course, one of those strategies for moving forward might involve going back to school to get more education or more training so that you can become more employable in the future.

If you are downsized, never give up

The first objective is this: “Don’t give up!” You must stay in the game. So, interact with friends, neighbors, colleagues plus men and women at your church or civic organization, such as your local chamber of commerce. Don’t be afraid to ask for some help in this process.

The Bible puts it like this: “You have not because you ask not.” So we do want to let people know. And as a professional sales and marketing executive most of my life, it has been stressed over and over again in seminars, where I have received training in my craft: “Ask for the business.”

Fear can immobilize us. But the opposite of fear is taking action that’s appropriate to the circumstance, which might include going back and getting more education or training. On the other hand, it certainly does involve networking with your friends, relatives, neighbors and people in your company or industry.

You must begin to go forward — by developing your resume, making appropriate phone calls, networking, meeting with individuals in person, and simply asking men and women if they have jobs for someone with your unique background and skills.

You must hang in there and not give up. The highlight of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s most famous speech goes like this: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.” (Source: October 29, 1941 address at Harrow School, located in Harrow on the Hill, England.)

Finally, please remember that for every $10,000 of income that you expect or anticipate in your next job, you should expect to invest one week to six weeks of effort. In other words, the higher your income has been in the past, the more time you can expect to put into this effort on a full-time basis in order to achieve your desired outcome, as you go forward.

James O. Armstrong, who is President of, Inc.,, also serves as the Editor of In addition, he is the author of “Now What: Discovering Your New Life And Career After 50” and the President of James Armstrong & Associates, Inc., which is a media representation firm based in Suburban Chicago.
Article Source: Articles for Boomers

4 thoughts on “Layoffs for Baby Boomers-Can They Be a Good Thing?-Guest Blogger Jim Armstrong

  1. I like the tone of Mr. Armstrong’s message,especially his emphasis on never giving up!

    I take a bit of exception to “going back to school to get more education or more training” as practical advice for those of us over 50 – unless a few classes would make a difference in our “employee desirability”.

    It’s hard enough trying to get a job after 50 – add to that a few more years of “re education and training” and we are even further outside of today’s corporate age preferences for the young.

    Frankly, let’s be honest, it’s not our experience, education or credentials that are at issue – it’s our age, our salaries and the benefits we receive as long term employees. This is what makes us vulnerable to “downsizing”.

    I think that we, as boomers on the outside limits of retirement age, need to get a lot more creative, aggressive and think outside the box of conventional job hunting parameters. Dusting off our resumes, taking a few classes to fatten up our credentials, pounding the pavement from interview to interview, and all the other traditional forms of job hunting will not change the fact that we are no longer of desirable employment age.

    Additionally, the work world we entered many decades ago no longer exists and we need to be aware of how employment has changed. It’s no longer a given that a full time job comes with health benefits, overtime, retirement packages and paid vacations.

    What do we do? We create a need for our experience, our talents, our abilities and our work ethic!!! We stop looking at our resumes, job listings and jobs that we are qualified for and we look for ways to create a job that fits us!

    Instead of applying for an existing job:

    1. How about researching a company, seeing where they need help and going in and telling them they need you and why!

    2. How about starting a consulting business in your field and marketing yourself as an expert “whatever” who solves problems? (Because I’ll bet you’ve solved a lot of problems over your work life!)

    3. How about writing about your field for those “younger” job hunters out there? Sort of like how stagers dress up a home for sale – maybe you could stage people to get ready to get a job!

    Just a few “outside the box” ideas for creating a new way to work in this treacherous employment environment. I send out a challenge for all of us over 50 to come up with some more!

  2. You shared 3 POWERFUL out of the box ideas here! Now, along with the theme that Mr. Armstrong has shared about not giving up please consider developing the out of the box ideas in terms of blogging stratagies for baby boomers. For example, any ideas how blogging could help increase revenue for a baby boomer, etc

  3. “Out of the box” thinking and action steps are required in order to optimize the outcome for each of us over 40, over 50 or over 60. But, please know that my own father, who is age 85, still works three days each week as an Associate Pastor of perhaps the largest Protestant church in St. Louis (i.e. St. Louis Family Church in Chesterfield, MO).

    So, it is not “our” age that is the enemy, but rather it is “our” attitude that will make all the difference in the world.

    Consultants of all types routinely operate their businesses out of their homes and, frequently, turn out to be quite successful. Think “independent contractor” to use an IRS designation. Many women today have also discovered that businesses of all sizes are birthed around their kitchen tables.

    Franchises also tend to work out as a solution in this process.

    “Dream your business up” and let your imagination take you on the journey of a lifetime. The next step in this process is up to you!

  4. Thank you so much Mr. Armstrong for the encouraging words. I too help boomers with resume and interview skills and one of the main hurtles that we all must address is keeping a positive frame of reference during our transition period from one position to another.

    I liked it so much I published it on my blog as well.

    Thanks so much,


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