New job after your 45th?

"It's not easy for people over 45 to find work again after being fired. I was lucky, but sometimes you force yourself to be lucky!"

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Sometimes you force happiness

In May 2014, a reorganization was carried out at my previous employer, which left 44 people out of work. Months went by with a lot of uncertainty. Together with the various trade unions, including the VHP2, a Social Plan was drawn up. When I was notified of my dismissal, I received a draft termination agreement with reference to the Social Plan. At the same time, it was said that I was not on the list of dismissal applications at the UWV and that I should seek legal support.

It still didn't really dawn on me what exactly was going on. In 2002 my previous employer also struggled, so I decided to join the legal predecessor of the VHP2. I read some reports, but other than that I did little with my membership. About a month before the reorganization, the VHP2 visited my employer with a career coach. It was a pleasant meeting and I had decided to make use of the 'free' 10 hours of career advice regardless of what might happen. When I was subsequently notified of my dismissal, I immediately reported to the VHP2. The lawyer who took up the case quickly made it clear to me that my situation was special because I did not fall under the reorganization and the Social Plan did not actually apply. According to my employer, my position had expired, there was no place for me in the new organization and I was not reflected. Well, that was pretty hard to accept, but it was good for me to think about it and prepare a possible defense in case we had to go to court. All kinds of information was collected, including reviews from recent years.

My legal advisor had confidence in a successful defense in a possible dismissal procedure, but we would first investigate whether an amicable solution was still possible. After my lawyer had collected all the information, the negotiations started. Although these were initially difficult, the VHP2 lawyer managed to get them back on track by making a very reasonable final proposal. Six weeks after the dismissal was announced, an agreement was finally reached, fortunately a lot better than the initial proposal based on the Social Plan. In the meantime, a few companies had already come forward that wanted a copy of my CV.

Before I knew it, I had already started applying through my external network. So it is high time to contact the career coach to get accelerated advice on questions such as: What am I good at? What can I do for a new employer? What do I want? What kind of employer am I looking for? What kind of challenges should a new job present for me? The sessions with the career coach took place in a pleasant atmosphere and were particularly efficient. The subsequent job interviews with a number of potential new employers went very well and there was soon a prospect of a great job at a solid company. The completed termination process and the conversations with the career coach gave me enough peace and energy to start negotiations with the new employer.

When I received a draft employment contract from the new employer, the VHP2 lawyer also looked at it and gave some good advice. I have been working for my new employer for several weeks now. My work is fun, interesting and well appreciated. I read in the newspaper this morning that it is not easy for the 45+ group to find work again after being fired.

I've been lucky, but sometimes you force luck too. My external network, the advice of the career coach and the help of the VHP2 lawyer helped me to close the dismissal with my previous employer in the short term and to quickly find a suitable and challenging job again.

(Name known to the VHP2, age 45)