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FITWITHIN SparkPoints: (289,775)
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6/29/13 1:19 P

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The Staples in my area has closed it's doors.

BRATFLORIDA SparkPoints: (9,911)
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Posts: 309
6/26/13 8:48 P

I hadn't heard of this, but it doesn't surprise me. I know of several chains that hire full time very sparingly and make do with part-timers specifically to avoid paying for health care, etc...

KNUCKLES145 Posts: 13,401
6/26/13 3:53 P

I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg. that more and more companies are going to only hire part time people so they don't have to provide health care.

DMJAKES Posts: 1,607
6/26/13 9:17 A

Empty - I can relate to what you're going through. I was squeezed out of a job I'd held for almost 18 years back in '06, and it took me a year to find another permanent position. In the meantime, I signed up with a couple of temp agencies. The assignments were good experiences because they kept me on my toes---each job was totally different and I was always acclimating myself to new cultures and work styles.

I learned a couple of things the hard way, so I'll share them in the hopes of helping you avoid the traps I fell into. In hindsight, I also think I did a few things well.

*DON'T get so desperate that you take the first offer that comes along. I was offered a position that was close to home, a casual work environment, and a pretty decent salary. I had this nagging feeling that I shouldn't take it, but I was getting close to running out of unemployment and savings, so I took it. Three months later, we had to part ways because it was a horrible fit. A few months later, I found the job I have today. Moral of the story -- if your gut says don't do it, don't.

*Make a schedule for each day so that you don't end up wasting too much time channel surfing or scoping out the fridge. I felt much better when I woke up knowing what I'd be spending my day on. Not that you have to plan every minute, but knowing I'd spend an hour at the gym and then an hour working on my resume or applying for jobs online kept me focused. My house has never been cleaner than it was then, that's for sure!

*Make sure everyone you know is aware that you're job hunting. Consider an online community like LinkedIn. If you had a good relationship with any of the suppliers or other businesses that worked with Staples, drop them an email just to keep in touch.

*If you can, try volunteering. Who knows, it might get your foot in the door somewhere. It also keeps things in perspective.

*Get some input on both your resume, your interview skills, and your work wardrobe. You want to stand out, but for the right reasons.

I like the idea another poster suggested about looking into property management. You might have to start off at the bottom of the ladder, but you may find a niche there.

Best of luck to you!

JGIRL5799 Posts: 553
6/26/13 8:46 A

If you lived near me, my real estate agent needs help bad! She would hire you in a heart beat to learn the ropes!

I have not heard about staples doing this and I know this will hurt a lot of people, I do not see why they couldn't keep you on at least part time or something to support their business.
That is really sad!

I know I have a step son who is 21 yrs old and people that say they are hiring part time, it is only a few days a week for about 4hrs. Not even 2 days worth a work week. I just do not understand retail at all sometimes... He is having a very hard time getting a job for full time or even good part time work, taking a job for 8-10 hrs a week is an insult, but it is good for those that are in high school or first timers. Then during the holidays they will work them to the bone full time hours but the second week they will cut them back to 10 that way they never have to pay benefits. I worked retail for 5yrs and see how they treated people. I rather stay in the animal world, but 11yrs ago I went back to school and now I am in the health field working from home. I am glad you are techy too, because you are already ahead of others who do not know basic things like; running a copy machine/fax, knowing Microsoft office.

May I also suggest you check out lawyers that deal in real estate? They are always looking for secretaries to do things and you may not get into the sales of homes, but you are still dealing with the real estate.. A lot of lawyers need people to draw up their contracts, abstracts, deeds and other things and they have their hands full with courts, closing and sales of homes and they do not have time to do the hard paper work things that they need to do their job right. Having that knowledge by you attending the real estate classes may serve you well and get your foot in the door and it will start letting you deal with real estate, but just in a different way. I will add it pays pretty decent too!

I also think people are very biased against generations older than I am, but just know there are other avenues to take even though it may not be in the main thing of what you wish to do. It just may open new doors to other more fun and interesting things!

I wish you luck and pray for your situation

Edited by: JGIRL5799 at: 6/26/2013 (08:57)
GRAMMYBRENDA2 SparkPoints: (3,883)
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6/26/13 6:03 A

I have been there and done this 3 times in the past 7 years. I have actually been unemployed longer than employed in that time period. I went from the printing industry and am now in property management. At 55 years old and my only support, I have to work, and all of my savings is gone.

Thankfully I now have a good job in a growing company where I hope to stay for a long time.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (143,121)
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6/26/13 5:12 A

EMPTYNESTER8,

I definitely feel your pain. Like you, I was a casualty of the economic down turn. A company that I'd work for for over 16+ years laid me off. I was surprized, but not terribly shocked. We'd been having financial problems like many other companies. There had been previous lay offs, but I always managed to survive those. not this time. I don't blame them. it's not their fault money wasn't coming in fast enough.

So... like you, I found myself tossed back into the job pool. Here's my problem, I work IT. I AM pretty tech savvy and that's the problem. Too many highly qualified workers were laid off when their companies outsourced to India. As a result, too much competition.

Long story short, I was laid off last July. I spent 10 months looking for work until I finally was hired for a contract job. I've been working full time the last couple of months. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get hired on a permanent basis, still waiting on that.

What did I do in those ten months ? I did some online home study courses to get my professional certifications. That did help enhance my chances at getting interviews. Like you, I hadn't been on a job interview in years, BUT I am an excellent conversationalist. that worked in my favor. Also, the more phone interviews and job interviews on you go, the easier it gets. I know, it's never really easy, but... you do get more comfortable answering certain questions.

Example, why are you looking for work ? I am looking for a new job because I found myself a casualty of the economic down turn. I was laid off after working for the same company for several years. They didn't want to lay off any employees, but had to because there weren't enough finances to support a full staff.

Be honest. And one thing you could do is ask a friend or someone in the field of real estate to look over your resume. Some times, your skills may not be the issue. You may have some excellent skills. The issue may be the way you present them on your resume. While I was looking for work, I had a couple of tech people give me some really good pointers on how to showcase my skills on my resume.

Bullet points, have you heard of those ? Because there are sooooo many people fighting over too few jobs, many larger HR departments don't read every single resume that comes in. They have software packages that sort the resumes. The software is programmed to look for certain bullet points i.e. words or phrases. If a particular word or skill is not listed on the resume, into the slush pile you go.

One job listing might get 300+ resumes. No HR person is reading all of those. That's why if you're in real estate and want to be in real estate, you need to find out what bullet points an agency is looking for.

Also, what about part time work ? When I got laid off, the good news was that I wasn't entirely out of work. I had a part time job working at a local gym. teaching classes was something I did for fun and a little pocket money. While I was laid off, it became a source of income. So, if you can't find a full time job, how about a part time one ? This way, you still keep busy while you look for a full time job in real estate.

I'm one of those folks who will be working for a very long time. It's because I don't like sitting idle. I need to be productive. The fact is, I like working. I like reading too, but I believe in balance. Many retired people end up deteriorating because they don't have something to keep them busy.

what was the question ? LOL !!!... a few random thoughts on being an older worker who got laid off. there ARE jobs out there, but once again, it's all about how you present yourself. If you have skills, you will be hired. it just might take some time finding the right opportunity.


WESTCHESTERGAL Posts: 20
6/26/13 12:47 A

To those of you who are Staples customers, briefly, I had an inkling something like this would happen. On the Staples investor page, Staples had closed more stores in 2012 than opened new ones. Retail is changing. The younger generation (under 45 yrs.) tends to shop online more than the over 45 yr. old. Going to a physical retail store is not as convenient as shopping online. Other than grocery shopping, stores like Amazon are creating more distribution centers to reduce shipping times thereby getting the product faster to their customer. Staples.com is doing better financially than the Staples retail stores. Staples had to make a decision - either close X number of stores OR lay off all F/T associates. This was a cost cutting measure. Laying off associates means the stores can stay in business and the company can save thousands in salaries, benefits, etc. So thankfully, I'm in a lucrative position where I don't need a job ASAP to feed my family. My kids have graduated from college & they live independently & have careers. My only thing is my generation is used to driving to retail stores & shopping in the store. I never thought in my lifetime, consumers would shop online more than visiting the store. My guess is within 5 yrs. more retail stores will be closing for good. Watch & see.

WESTCHESTERGAL Posts: 20
6/26/13 12:30 A

Thanks for the tips. I did look at the agent profiles and most agents in NYC suburbs are older women. Seems the brokers in the suburbs want agents who know the school systems well meaning involved in the PTA, women's clubs, churches, etc. Young women don't have this yet, which is why in NYC real estate agents are much younger.- no kids yet. Once you move to the suburbs it's all about kids & schools which older women know plenty about.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,605)
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6/26/13 12:15 A

I've been in real estate for 12 years. Unfortunately, it's a very "looks based" industry, meaning they want folks who present themselves well and act confident. I used to do salesperson hiring, and while I hate to say this, I tended to hire young good looking people who dressed sharp, because, well, they sold more. We had a guy on our team who was near 50 and wasn't super good looking and he had maybe half the sales of the younger good looking guys, even though he had way more knowledge and experience. It's a sad but true fact. And, a real estate company doesn't make any money unless you sell something, so if they're not confident you can get out there and make sales pretty quickly, then they're not going to be interested. It really sucks that it's that way.

If you're set on being in sales, I would suggest you look for a firm that already seems to employ older folks, they're more likely to hire you. You can look on their websites ahead of time and read the agent profiles to get the vibe of what they have going on.

There's other things you can do with a real estate license that isn't straight up sales. You can go into property management, which might actually be good because it tends to be more normal hours and has hourly pay instead of just straight commissions. Look for large companies that manage a lot of big apartment complexes. Also, you can go into title and escrow work, so maybe look into a job at a title and/or escrow company (escrow companies don't exist in all states). Also new home builders often hire folks to be greeters at model homes and pay them an hourly wage, and that can be a foot in the door somewhere too.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (240,587)
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6/25/13 11:19 P

Keep thinking positively and look forward to a better day. Things WILL get better!!!!

YWEIGHT12 SparkPoints: (564)
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6/25/13 10:05 P

Sorry to hear this and I go to staples all the time right by where I live. have you applied for apartment leasing agent positions also? That's another way to go with your real estate. your in the right place for support you can do this, you sound like you already have a good plan. emoticon emoticon emoticon

CHOCOLATELEA SparkPoints: (2,622)
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6/25/13 9:32 P

You're in a great position if your husband can cover expenses for awhile. Set up shop for yourself or talk yourself into a job. You are your real estate. I think real estate is one of those funny things that only pays you if you sell something, but if I'm wrong you can talk someone into letting you in the door part time, or as a volunteer for a couple of weeks (don't do more than that). If nothing else you'll get references for the next time you knock on someone's door.

Good luck!

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,329
6/25/13 7:51 P

" want to work even if I don't need a paycheck."

Have you considered doing some volunteer work in the interim while you progress through your job search? It will give you the interaction you seek, plus a sense of having done something of value that is appreciated, plus skills and experience to add to your resume.

Btw, don't worry about taking that course "for nothing." Something will likely come of it at some point - and even if not? Education is always valuable, even when not directly-used in your employment.

PS I did not know that Staples did this. As a business customer of Staples, this makes me pretty PO'd. Don't like supporting companies that can't be bothered to support their employees!

Edited by: BUNNYKICKS at: 6/25/2013 (19:52)
PT.JEFFGIRL SparkPoints: (127,554)
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6/25/13 7:22 P

Wow! that is heavy duty. It sounds like you are taking all positive steps. I am sure you will find something. Your "tech smarts" will serve you well. I would not let your husband influence you in a negative way. Who knows how thing will go? As for that bit of overeating and cutting back on exercise, it sounds normal and seems you are pretty much back on track. Good Luck to you! I know you know you are just one of scads of people this has happened to.

WESTCHESTERGAL Posts: 20
6/25/13 5:22 P

I was one of those F/T associates who got laid off March 29th. Along with other associates I know locally, we took the severance package which paid us until mid June. During that time I enrolled in a real estate sales course to get my license. I passed the exams & I've been interviewing several real estate firms to get hired. I'm 59 yrs. so unfortunately, I'm encountering a little age discrimination & some firms are not willing to hire. After passing the exams, I never thought I would encounter this.
I worked for Staples for 13 yrs. & prior to that I was a stay at home Mom for 12 yrs. meaning I haven't had to look for a job in 25 YEARS! Between technology & interviews, I feel very old school & trying to catch up. Fortunately, working for Staples, I'm pretty tech smart since I've learned all the latest tech stuff.
Now for my weight - The 1st month of unemployment was the toughest - I ate some junk food to make me feel better & gave up exercising. Since then, I've had more control on eating healthy but getting back on the treadmill is elusive. I start, then quit, then start, quit, etc. Basically, I need motivation to get me out of stigma of being unemployed & getting on my treadmill during the "Today" Show. What I'm also stressing is I may have to start Plan B which is finding a regular job which means I did the real estate thing for nothing.
My husband is a naysayer type. Telling me I don't need to work because his pension from teaching will cover our retirement. I don't want to retire yet - I'm healthy & active & want to work even if I don't need a paycheck. So I'm hoping you guys can motivate or inspire me.

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