I had this grandiose idea to document ideas of how I was going to come out of the pandemic in better shape than I went in. I was a marginally successful Neil Diamond tribute artist in competition for gigs with other marginally successful tribute artists. I thought that the time off that the pandemic was offering would allow me to do things like drop the name Denny Diamond and be me, Denny Svehla. This huge move would also take me out of the world of tribute artistery. Which in itself is a world worth leaving. I thought I’d spread my wings and repertoire to include other artists music along with original music.
My biggest move would be to put music 2nd and find another primary way to make a living. Janet and I had just moved and we did the best we could to lower our finances so I was on the prowl to find something that would pay the bills, have some fun money and even put some money in the bank.
I like making things with wood, I like making industrial lamps, I like repairing lamps and I thought any of these would be interesting to pursue. I come from a pretty extensive computer background and I thought I’d be a shoe in to get something like that going again. So I updated my resume, I checked into Etsy, Shopify and other store type apps and I set sail.
The realm of online shopping is very extensive and I hope to write about that sometime soon. And I have a small inventory of pipe lamps that have some hearts and likes next to them but I have yet to sell them.
The biggest obstacle was something that I had never heard of before but was being subjected to. Ageism. “Stereotyping and/or discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.” Because of my age I wasn’t being viewed as a valid applicant for any of the computer related jobs I had applied for. My inbox was filled with the stereotypical form letter thanking me for my application but they decided to move forward with another applicant. Oh and don’t forget the part about them keeping it for a period of time and I was welcome to apply again after that. A stunning 33 percent of job seekers ages 55 and older are long-term unemployed, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. The average length of unemployment for the roughly 1.2 million people 55+ who are out of work: seven to nine months. And, recent studies have shown, the longer you’re out of work — especially if you’re older and out of work — the harder it becomes to get a job offer.
I have found a position that is grant funded and will end in ‘2021’. So my search will continue or will I find that elusive work for yourself opportunity? In the meantime…wanna buy a lamp?