Magazine article Techniques

War of the Generation: Reentering the Underemployed Workforce

Magazine article Techniques

War of the Generation: Reentering the Underemployed Workforce

Article excerpt

AS WE MOVE OUT OF THE FIRST GREAT RECESSION of the 21st century and the job market begins to return slowly, we are faced with an increasingly new dynamic for job seekers--the war of the generations. Millennials are seeking to enter for the first time, GenXers are seeking to upgrade their positions; boomers are seeking to, in many cases, re-enter the workplace, having had their retirement nest eggs seriously whacked; and seniors are seeking additional monetary resources and intellectual stimulation. In short, everyone is out there slugging it out for jobs that are still limited in sup-ply. Let's examine a few of the dynamics in today's human capital marketplace--underemployment and competition among the generations.


The jobs that have returned are, in many cases, a shadow of their former selves. We know that employers are seeking to do more with less, so when jobs reappear, they are offering these juicy morsels to a hungry unemployed workforce at much less than previously. Compensation levels are less, perks are nonexistent and benefits are being taken away (or costs shared at a higher level). Those who survived the recession were often asked to take lower-level jobs with lower pay. Often, these jobs did not fully utilize the skills they acquired in school or through practical application on the job.

This in-pi ace, underemployed worker is a force to be reckoned with as a competitive threat for those trying to enter or return to work. They are hungry for upward mobility and for resuming their career aspirations. Much as 401(k) plans became 201(k) plans, the underemployed workforce took major steps back and now workers want to get back to where they were.'


A note to the underemployed: it is all about skill development. As the market for jobs improves, on-the-job training won't get this development done fast enough. It is now about night school, online training and about exponentially increasing your marketability internally through the acquisition of critical competencies to rise above those trying to return to work. Watch out, graduating Millennials, reentering boomers, or "happy to do anything" seniors-these underemployed folks are going for the plum jobs from the inside!

War of the Generations

During the Great Recession, mom and dad were laid off, had their time at work reduced, or took time off to raise the kids and now want to get back in the money-making; business. Meanwhile, the kids were finishing college and thinking about what they were going to do after their post-graduation vacation and travel--community service or opting to go to graduate school right away? …

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