Age Discrimination

There is an Age Discrimination in America but, there are no easy answers.

There once was a time when “Seasoned” professionals were highly regarded.  Then came Outsourcing as a cost-cutting measure to save on consulting salaries.

Now, employers are looking to get more for less.  In other words, they want a Business, Systems Analyst/Project Manager with C++ Programming Language and Java Scripting!!!  So, what once used to be a 3-to-5 person job, foreigners are now marketing themselves as this 5-in-1 skillset, to qualify for those positions.

While they have the program language skills, they have none of the American Business Infrastructure knowledge, but they’re degreed, so it’s assumed they’ll adapt.

The problem is: Corporations are paying $15/hour salary instead of the average $45/hour salary for a seasoned professional.  Unfortunately, it’s taking businesses “three-times” as long to properly implement their integration plans. Why?  Because of the steep learning curve, English language barriers, and no Subject Matter Experts available.

Thus, the six-month target implementation date has now grown to 18+ months, taking almost three times as long and costing way more than originally anticipated.  Companies wind up spending the same amount on salaries ($15 x 3 = $45/hour), but across a longer period of time (18 months).

This is not forward thinking – this is a three-steps-backwards approach to achieve the same end-result.  Thus, you get what you pay for – Acquiring cheap labor, results in a botched plan of action that simply costs more!

The other problem: Hiring Scrum Masters, Six Sigma and PMP Certified individuals who haven’t a clue as to the standards of the SDLC-Software Delivery Life Cycle process.  So they go to the boss and say, “Boss I need [more] help!”  So the boss approves a new budget for the hiring/recruiting process.

These dumbfounded individuals can’t hire “truly knowledgeable” individuals because they will be discovered as the person who doesn’t know what the Hell they’re doing!

Hence, they’ll hire someone with (some) comparable skills, but are just as clueless – a sort of, blind-leading-the-blind. Then they say, the project has grown in “scope” and will continue to recruit more people with the same mediocre mentality until, months later, the entire project is scrapped due to inadequate product knowledge and a blown budget that could have been prevented, had they actually hired an individual from the onset with the demonstrated track-record and 15+ years expertise necessary to get done right the first time.

But that experience is costly, but still cost effective in the long run!

Yet, we’re constantly hearing on the nightly news that there aren’t “enough” qualified IT people which is why we are forced to outsource – Really?  I think Americans did very well in preventing the Y2K crash – So where did all that experience go?

I never thought in my lifetime, I would be deemed “over-qualified” for many of the IT Financial positions available today, but I am. The irony is I have no problem getting interviews, the problem is: when I open my mouth.

The intimidation factor is unreal, as the person sitting across from me comes to realize that I’m not only capable, I’m more than equipped to do the job!

During my last job interview, I told the agency that, if I don’t get the call back, I’ll be very surprised.  When I followed up, the recruiter said: “They love your skills, but, they don’t think you’re quite right for this position.  They have you in mind for another opportunity in the coming weeks, but, if you get another job offer before then, (‘take it’) as opposed to waiting on this job…”

In other words, they couldn’t come up with an excuse “not” to hire me.  I knew then that I didn’t get the job.

The whole experience has left a lot to be desired and demonstrated how, not only age discrimination, but “experience discrimination” exists now as well.

When I first saw Waterfall methodology, (Agile, RUP, etc., etc.), I instinctively knew and understood why these tools were created: to help those younger, in-experienced individuals put into practice a methodology they haven’t executed before.

Suddenly, I can’t get an IT job without a PMP Certification?  Spare me, please!

I’ve been there since the term “Information Technology” was born, yet, I’m still unemployed.

Employed people recognize talent when they see it.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to be one of the “firsts” to do it, and this was 20 years ago when women hit the glass ceiling with Tech MIS and IT infrastructure.

At the same time, we’re dealing with the saturation of the American workforce job-sharing market with Guest Workers and the insecurity of those on edge who are also worried about losing their job – therefore, none of them can hire truly talented people!

As more and more employees are in “control” of the hiring, decision-making process, they will ultimately be your co-worker as opposed to your boss.

They will never hire intelligence, which is why IT and Corporate America are spinning their wheels, drowning in financial and information technology despair, with cost over-runs and an eventual implementation that, after multiple delays, finally gets to go “live.”

Now, if I can only convince the Corporate IT Director to become more intimately involved in the hiring process, so they’ll hire me over the 3-year college grad!

Cachae is an independent author of Red, White and Poor – How Outsourcing and Economics have Racially Divided America!

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