The biggest obstacle for the middle-aged unemployed male may be himself. According to NEWSWEEK, for example, 58% won't accept a job "beneath" their previous job.
Given the volatile marketplace, there's no supposed resume-saving reason for that. During the worst of a downturn, a man might be making $40,000. Then as the recovery starts picking up steam, a $70,000 job falls into his lap. Again, he might return to $40,000. That's the new normal. And that new normal isn't a linear trajectory.
But more importantly, nothing gets someone a job like having a job. When we're working we present ourselves from a position of strength. Everything from our body language to our replies to interview questions shows that. When not working, we come across as just that: Jobless. And low on confidence.
Way back in its May 16, 2005 issue, FORTUNE had a cover story "50 and Fired." The prognosis for the unemployed male was grim then. According to the statistics from NEWSWEEEK, that hasn't changed. That 's primarily because men who once had good jobs can't adapt to endless scrambling to keep working.
My book can help with that. It's "Over-50: How We Keep Working." Here men [and women] can order it online. And here is my talk on career transition which has been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY [Download NYSBAtalkinVITALSPEECHESOFDAY.]