I wasn’t always a very good job developer.  In fact, I sucked at it. After all, I was an archaeologist – a scientist of sorts. I wasn’t in sales. I used to dump my clients on unsuspecting employers. I lied and I cheated and I even got fired.

Somehow, though, I kept getting jobs doing it. It took time, but I kept building my network and after about two decades of pounding the pavement for people with various disabilities, I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the labour market and its needs. I turned sales into a science. I even drew on my archaeological  training  to visualize my clients working in various fields, and I suggested ways that might work for both my client and my the employer. There was no need to run away. In fact, I started to really believe in my clients to the point that I could comfortably follow up my placements. The older I got, the better I got.

Last week, in the interests of helping my aging friend convince hiring managers to take another look at him and his advanced years, I concentrated on the sense of history he would bring. This week, I’ll help him buttress his argument some more by showing the interpersonal benefits of having him on the payroll.

9. You can manage yourself

Over the years you learned how to pace yourself. You know when reports are due and how to write them. You can organize your contacts and develop schedules for following up. You recognize that more work gets done when you’re in the field than when you’re sitting at your desk, and you know that all the fun is in the field. Younger workers are still learning this.

10. You don’t sing the blues

Older workers are good at keeping their emotions under control. This makes them good leadership candidates. Adding you to the team would be tantamount to adding some sober second thought to the team and the workplace. Soon, the younger people will be looking to you for mentorship. Soon they’ll be calling you “Senator.”

11. You have a huge network

I met my friend at the Vancouver Board of Trade eight years ago. We were both building our networks and we probably each have over 1000 people we can draw on for advice on different matters – including advice for buying our products. Everyone who has a network carries those contacts from job-to-job.  Some of the members of my network I have known since grade school. That’s almost five decades of contacts. Younger workers will get there eventually – at about the same time they’re looking for work. Huge networks are active, and an active networker on staff is good for business.

12. You’re not looking for the employer’s job

…at least until he/she is promoted to CEO … and you’re in a position to help him/her get there.

13. You work well as part of a team

You have the communication skills necessary for this: listening, problem solving and negotiation. Your calm demeanor means that you probably also possess innate  leadership skills, and rather than walking around with a rope’s end ready to whack unsuspecting ‘underlings’ like a modern-day Captain Bligh ready to keelhaul the least effective performer, you probably have a hands-on mentoring leadership style.

There are some other interpersonal attributes that an older worker can bring to the workplace, but they are the same ones that I normally use to hire people with disabilities. An older worker is not a disabled worker – unless they have a disability.

These include loyalty (because it’s so damned difficult to get a job in the first place), add to company culture, and they may come cheaper.

Next week I will present some financial arguments for hiring an older worker.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



  1. Sharon Says:

    Love it, Mike. Well thought out and written. Gives hope to old farts like me.

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