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I had to decide to voluntarily leave my career of 10 years, because of schedule changes and could not afford additional caregivers to cover. In the 3.5 years of care-giving, I let some of my personal responsibilities go, like paying my bills on time verifying bank balances and bouncing checks. This caused my credit history to be down graded severly. Also being out of regular work for over 6 months made HR screeners drop my applications becasue of no current work history. If I did get a response and a credit check was performed I did not hear anything more from the opportunity.

How can a person be forth coming and let a potential HR screener know this and not be a derogatory/negative representation for a job?

I am sure that I am not the only one that has seen this issue. I have asked a few HR professionals, but none of them want to take a position on this and actually let you know that this bias exists in the career hunting fields.

I thought we were all humans trying to get along...the best we know how and can???

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Bookluvr, technically it is unlawful to discriminate against someone due to age, BUT we all know that it happens and often because of stereotyping, as you mentioned, too old to learn. So a strategy to fight stereotyping is to NOT BE a stereotype by updating your skills and look (yes appearance and first impressions are important).

There may be some industries that are not interested in older workers, but there are some industries that are statistically going to be so understaffed they are trying everything to keep Baby Boomers from retiring, by being very flexible. One of those fields is healthcare. It is caught in a "Catch 22." As the Baby Boomers retire and leave the workforce, the more of them need healthcare AND there are not enough of the following generations to replace them.

Some employers also prefer older workers because they have a strong work ethic. Younger workers tend to have other priorities.

The point is to focus on your strengths and do some research. Find employers and industries that are looking for employees like you, and customize your resume, by highlighting your strengths to appeal to them.
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I agree with Madeaa. I am hoping to find an employer that doesn't want to deal with the downfalls of hiring a younger person....calling in "sick" monday mornings, upcoming weddings, babies, time away from work for all of the above. I don't need health insurance - I'm covered through my husband's employer, so that right there saves them a crap-ton of money per month. There is a HUGE advantage to hiring "older" (shudder) employees - the trick is going to be finding an employer who recognizes that.
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We are not all the same, I am not resistant to change, I embrace it, the only thing I can be certain of is change, so when things are crappy, I know they will change and I can always change my mind and how I look at things. My attitude and behavior is just about all I can control. Employers are diverse as their needs are, sometimes they don't want a younger person they want someone to do something specific for just now. Now as far as "never" I choose to not be placed in a caregiving postion in the future, I have a say about it and therefore, it will not happen I have done my time thank you.
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No I do not want to be a caregiver, I knew I was not one but was sucked into it...since other family said they could not do it. My problem is that I am too sensitive...I pick up too much from the folks and places I go and I cannot wash it off afterwards. When you live with it... I start acting like whom I am caring for...slowly losing my mind!
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I have NEVER been interested in being an RN, an LVN, a CNA, etc. etc. - I have always known that line of work was just not for me. I do, however, have my coding certification and love medical-office-type stuff. I sailed right through my medical terminology & anatomy classes - it all just seemed to "click" with me. The hard part, as bookluvr says, is competing with young people who are applying for the same positions. I am really worried I won't ever have enough in my own social security account to be eligible for Medicare, let alone social security. :(
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Remember you are competing with younger people. Most companies prefer the young ones due to new ideas or better able to shape them into the company’s way of thinking. As an older applicant, we’re “resistant” to change or trying something new, plus usually they “encourage” people of our age to “retire” so that young new bloods come in. I know of one company who forces their employees when they reach the “retirement” age.

Madeaa, never say never. I laughed when I read your last comment. I say that all the time when people tell me that I now have caregiving background. I never wanted to be a nurse and now forced to be my parent's caregiver. I worry that my "NEVER" will one day come back at me. =(
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I just had to say, for me, I would NEVER ever become a caregiver again.
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Would you consider becoming a caregiver to someone else? Getting a CNA is relatively quick and easy.
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If you have submitted your resume and applied for jobs with no response, maybe you're not giving yourself enough credit for all the responsibilities you have had as a caregiver. It is hard to toot your own horn. Maybe you should look into using a resume writing service that has experience in describing caregiving in a way that appeals to potential employers. They would be good at drawing out the details of your experience that are pure gold that you don't even recognize.

Maybe you are looking for a job in a field that does not resonate with your caregiving experience. At least for a short term to be able to have a paying job on your resume and to get acclimated to working outside the home again, you might look for a job in a field that values empathy and sensitivity to others' needs, but does not require specialized education or training. Teacher's aides, especially in special education, in-home caregiving, tutoring (you may have some area of education that would be useful). Or work that requires a lot of adaptability and flexibility, problem-solving skills, etc.

You might look into a temp agency. I am looking into working for an internet-based company called "TaskRabbits" when I need to do "real work" again or when I can get my mom into an adult day care a couple days a week and would be able to work outside the home on a part time basis. (I don't know if it's ok to mention names here. I am not promoting the company, I am just mentioning it as it seems to be an interesting resource to look into for anyone in the difficult job search situation. I'm sure there are other companies like this; this is the only one I know the name of). You submit a profile of your skills and types of "tasks" you would like to do, and your availability and how much you would charge for your work. They do a background check and if you're accepted they post your profile. You would be considered an independent consultant. Their customers (whose backgrounds are also checked) post detailed descriptions of tasks they want performed, and the time frame. You can bid on tasks or the company can match you up. There is a huge range of tasks requested from simple to high tech and highly specialized. Tasks can be one-time jobs or repeating and can lead to full-time employment. Customers and task rabbits rate and review each other on the website, and if the customer likes your work, they can request you for future tasks.

Anyway, just another resource for someone who is "between jobs" and having trouble finding full-time employment, and it has the best of both worlds, the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed and the structure, resources and accountability of working for a company.
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Hello All (Ferris1),
To clarify, I worked in animal Health as Lead Maintenance Technician and Maintenance Supervisor for vaccine production and other roles for ten years.

Mother is now in Nursing Home under my sister's DPOA in Florida, acting as her primary now.

Job hunting is my major activity, besides moving out of the house purchased to care for my mother in with my sister's husband realty investment.

I understand times are tough and I try to understand what the market is for employment now, but want to make clear to an employer my status and not let subjective ideas or methods for filtering rule myself and them from a great person.
Jim
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I had been out of work for 16 years when I had my second child and my husband didn't want me to work outside the home, he passed recently. The last time I went job hunting, you actually read the classifieds in your local paper, mailed a resume to them and if they were interested they called you. I tried hunting on line, I tried the on line apps, then I tried going to small local businesses so maybe I could actually talk to someone in person, I do recommend this, it might work. But in the end, I decided I just have to be creative about it, and how much do I really need a paycheck, well pretty bad. I decided what I could do for work, even if it was different from what I used to do, picked two types of skills I have, ran ads in several local papers offering my services, I'm now building a client base for my business. Even the two clients I have now, will be a good foundation to get into another job if I want in a year, especially since it's my own business. The job market is still pretty bad for many people. I was just talking to a woman at a register today, she was complaining that she's a dental hygienist, can't find work and is working at Walmart. Sometimes you have to take what you can get, sometimes you have to get creative. I'm doing housekeeping, I was a transcriptionist and secretary for several years. But with this, I can control the days I work and the hours, and I actually make more money than I did as a secretary.
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Yes, I agree with HR people, also I agree with too young, that was something I forgot to put in my last post, try the temp agencies, I have worked for them with good results, I have at times worked remotely from home for temp agencies, also construction firms go for this when they have a large amount of submittals during the beginning of projects.
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I was in the human resource (HR) profession. I got my first HR job through a employment agency, with a brand new degree and no experience. I had worked temporary assignments through the agency while I was in college, so they recommended me for a full-time HR Clerk position, when they knew I was ready. I went in as a temp, was hired after a month, and promoted to HR manager after 2 years.

I was even able to get a part-time job in HR where I picked my days and hours. Jobs like this are VERY rare in HR. I got the job through another temporary job agency. They knew my work through some temporary assignments and recommended me for the job. That job lasted for 3 years as my husband's condition progressed and was finally diagnosed (Lewy Body Dementia). Then I got a job teaching HR courses online. Currently, I am in "early retirement," because I'm trying to protect my health and survive caregiving.

As an HR professional, I also agree with a lot of the other advice here, such as listing your caregiving as a job and doing volunteer work to strengthen your resume (also a foot in door).

I've hired people who had unusual circumstances, but they had a good strong work history prior to the iffy part. There are those of us, in the HR profession, who have a heart and have also had some rough times. You only have to find one of them, so keep trying and keep a positive attitude. There is nothing worse than to be negative or complain in an interview, and yes, people do that and then wonder why they can't get a job. I'm not saying you do that, but sometimes people don't realize they come across that way. Be the positive, "can do" person, they will want as an employee.

Final thought, we all have experience now as caregivers, and there will always be caregiving jobs, and some types of jobs and employers have high turnover, so they may not be as picky about job history. So again, find one, just one, and stay there a couple of years to re-establish your work history.
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I have listed, as my last "employer", self-employed caregiver to elderly mother. I do not list a salary (because I don't get one) but wonder if I should just make up a number to put in there. During this time I also went to school part time & earned my medical coding certification through AAPC, which I can't seem to use because I don't have the dreaded "1-3 years experience". Prior to caregiving, my husband and I ran an electrical contracting business from our home (I did the paperwork & the "office stuff") - again - no official salary, but tons of experience gained, and prior to that I was a stay at home Mom. I really feel I get shoved at the bottom of the application pile due to these circumstances, and have never been called for an interview :( I'm starting to feel like I just graduated high school & need to go work at McDonald's just to get a 'current job' on my resume. It sucks.
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I did the exact same thing!! Gave up a job after 10 years, credit is shot and I am 59 years old. Cant afford in home care and each interview I go on is a bust. People are sympathetic but the bottom line is they need someone who is going to be dedicated to the job. Everyone has good advice on how to overcome this obstacle but sadly most of the advice does not work on the general population of employers. Good luck to both of us and anyone else going through this same problem. All I can say is we have to recover in the end. God has to be behind us.
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I am an HR professional and also my mother's caregiver. As far as any gaps in employment, I agree that should be accounted for as "time spent caring for family member" and no need to get into details at the beginning. During a first interview, unless asked, I suggest you also not bring it up unless the interviewer does. You may be asked if the "situation has resolved itself?" If you are still the caregiver, be ready to explain how it will not interfere with your paying job. If you are no longer the caregiver due to the death of your loved one, simply state the situation no longer exists. If your loved one is in a nursing home or has another caregiver, say that. The point is to keep the interview focused on you and your skills, not on your family responsibility. Now...if you get to the point of being offered the job, that is where you should bring up any responsibility you still have. For example, if you will have to take your loved one to doctors appointments, or if you are the main contact if the nursing home needs to reach you, etc. It is important you let the employer know this before you are actually hired. If it is a deal breaker for the employer, better to know up front rather than get terminated later. Hope this helps.
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Ah, but life comes to those who are the fittest and there is nothing fair about life. "Life is difficult", as quoted from Dr. Scott Peck's book The Road Less Travelled. (He is a well-known psychiatrist). A suggestion would be to list your last six months as a caregiver, which is an honorable profession, and in your statement about your job objectives you might list being able to pay debts incurred through caregiving an ill loved one. You didn't say what field you were applying to, so I cannot comment farther, however, you also do not state if the person you cared for died or is somewhere else. Please clarify. Good luck!
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How will your mother impact your work life, krusso? Are you worried about missing work to deal with emergencies at the NH? Or just why is your mother's situation relevant to your job search?
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BTW, I volunteer Tues-Fri doing data entry mainly. But really, what do I say about my mother?
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The time you spend as a caregiver is a job, and should be listed as one, really end of story, no one today would need to explain this as everyone will or has at some point come across this situation. You said you have 10 years of experience before, just put dates of caregiving, and dates of your 10 years of experience. I don't know what you did for 10 years but I would bet you utilized your career skills caregivng, I know I do. You can explain that you have handled all the finances and running of a household if you did and take care of all internet research for medical issues. Your credit should not be an issue if you have been living with the person you care for as a matter of fact it should be noted if you have taken care of another as a POA. I would see it as a plus, it shows you are responsible and care about others.
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I'm still searching for employment but my mom's still in the nursing home - what do I say?
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Dear mon,

I actually dealt with this situation as well. While caring for my dad in my home I did volunteer work twice a week not just to get out of the house but to increase my own self-worth and so I could someday put it on a resume. My finances were the exact opposite from yours. I rented a house I couldn't afford in order to care for my dad so we were roommates financially and so if I came up short one month he helped me out in exchange for my not working and caring for him. My credit was never better, lol! But he had a health emergency and ended up in a NH. I had to move and fast because I couldn't afford that house on my own. So with no job lined up I found a new place to call home and once I got settled I ran around town looking for a job. I work in healthcare and I'm lucky that there are always available jobs in that field. On an actual application it usually asks you to explain any gaps in employment history and I practiced explaining why I was out of the work force for so long. I practiced what I wanted to write because I wanted to sound intelligent, not get too personal, and I wanted to be brief but be able to thoroughly explain my hiatus. And then on my actual resume I wrote pretty much the same thing. I just put it out there. I interviewed for several positions and my gap in my employment history was never really discussed. I think it was because I was upfront about it and explained the reason why. It's not uncommon nowadays for people to re-enter the workforce after having cared for an aging parent.
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I have a similar issue to face in the future when my mom passes away or goes to a nh. I have been "unemployed" for 6 years now, and my credit record has also suffered (it wasn't that good in the first place, to be honest). My thoughts are to title your caregiving time as being "on hiatus" to care for a family member. If you know anyone who has reentered the work force after some years as a stay-at-home mom, ask them how they approached the situation. Maybe in your resume / interview you could describe your job responsibilities as a caregiver and skills learned / implemented, as well as any special "projects" you completed like you would if this had been a "real" job (could any job be more "real"?). Describe them in ways that fit in with the job you are applying for. Things like "reorganized and managed finances", "coordinated and managed medical care for", etc.

Maybe, if you have any time cushion before you have to get a paying job, you could get a volunteer position doing work in the area you want to get a job in, so you have something more to put on your resume. I have read that volunteer work often leads to someone hiring you because they get to know you as you do the volunteer work and they like what they see in you.

Anyway, just brainstorming with you as I have been thinking along the same lines as you are. Hope this is helpful.
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