Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Consider New Career Options

Q. I just turned 60 and although I'm healthy, it's the first time I feel depressed about a birthday. I didn't mind 30, 40 or even 50. But this time I keep looking at my gray hair and feeling terrible about it. I think the reason is that I lost my job and the two years I've spent searching for work-with no luck-made it very clear that companies won't hire me because of my age. Luckily my wife still has her job, so we're hanging in there. I don't think there's a remedy for this, but if you have one I'd be glad to hear it.

Ans. There may be some consolation in knowing you are not alone, and yes, there is unfair age discrimination among employers, and so you are justified in feeling sad. But you can't just sit back and wallow in that. Consider the adage, "I cried because I had no shoes until I met the man who had no feet."  That can be rather literal if you go to the nearest local hospital and volunteer to help those who not only have your troubles, but also have physical disabilities.  Another option is to start applying for jobs that you feel are "beneath" your qualifications or t hose that do hire older people, such as fast food and retail establishments. That would make you feel of use, take your mind off the mirror, and even bring in a little pocket money. 

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