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The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work, and Living by Mark Miller

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Chapter 13. Six Rules for Job Hunting

"My son-in-law says I'm a dinosaur."

"Hey, don't knock the dinosaurs. They ruled the earth for millions of years.

They must've been doing something right."

The 2004 film In Good Company generated a lot of buzz about workplace conflict between baby boomers and members of Generation X. Dennis Quaid plays a middle-aged sales manager for a national sports magazine caught in the pressure cooker of a corporate takeover; he finds himself working for an overcaffeinated Gen X boss (Topher Grace) who thinks Quaid is irrelevant and pushes him aside. Before it's all over, the Gen X boss calms down, embraces Quaid's boomer values, and moves to Los Angeles to jog on the beach. Quaid gets his old job back, and happy endings are shared all around.

Too bad we can't all have the Hollywood finish to our career stories. The job market is challenging for everyone in tough economic times, and it presents special challenges for anyone age 50 or older. What are the best strategies for finding a job? And, if you're still employed, what can you do to keep the job you already have?

As we saw in the last chapter, some employers think older workers are less productive, less healthy, and more resistant to change. The negative stereotypes aren't completely off the mark. Human resources experts and recruiters say older workers do often bring a false sense of entitlement to the workplace and resist adapting to changing business conditions.

Burnout is a key issue, especially in the ...

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