He knew for many months this was probably going to happen. So he sent out a lot of resumes. He had plenty of interviews. Several employers observed that he had a strong resume. But no offers came. He asked me for help. I had coached him three years ago.
Throughout his career, he had been able to land decent-paying, though not status, jobs associated with law. The settings ranged from government to the compliance department of a major insurance company.
He asked me: Is it age? Of course, that plays a part. The part it usually plays is not the aging itself. Rather what will knock lawyers like him out of the box is that their deep bench of experience comes at too high a price for a growing number of employers. In this glut of supply, they can hire relative newbies, train them their way, and pay them peanuts.
Another question: Does he not spin enough on interviews? That had been a problem earlier in his career. If employers threw him a negative - as in "how come you had so many jobs?" - he froze. Through role play he learned how to turn that negative into a positive - while on his feet. We simulated an interview and he performed well.
One recommendation was that he leverage his legal background where age wasn't a severe impediment. And the industry was highly regulated. For example, real estate is wide-open to him. Jobs could range from property manager to actual sales in residential or commercial. Yes, he should think about getting his real estate license.
Also, in financial planning, age can be a plus. He could have an information interview with several financial firms, then choose the best deal for preparing for the licensing exams.
Another suggestion was to get into the business of coaching standardized tests. After all, he got where he got because he knew how to ace tests. The hourly coaching rate can range from $75 to $100, in upscale locations. Usually the company trains you. No spring chicken, I interviewed for and was hired for tutoring in general.
A third is to start an entirely new career path, not related to anything he had done. He turned pale when I mentioned that.
Takeaway: Age has become a factor in unemmployment because, with the glut of talent, employers can hire a lawyer with less experience for low compensaton.