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Collaring Your Next Job

Good news: You’re new and different

➔ Doncha just hate when people keep trying to either put a label on you, to try and fit you into some pre-determined box? Sheesh.

While it happens in all walks of life, employers can’t even begin to claim to be able to cast the first stone. People have been trying to carve up the workforce for decades.

Get out of the box

Most people quickly will recognize the categories of while collar and blue collar workers. White collar – executives, administrators, managers, People who traditionally used to wear white-collar shirts to work. Investopedia defined them as: White-collar workers historically have been the "shirt and tie" set, defined by office jobs and management, and not "getting their hands dirty."

Then there are the blue collar workers. Once again, Investopedia provides a suitable definition: blue-collar workers, who traditionally wore blue shirts and worked in plants, mills, and factories.

Google even recognizes “yellow-collar” workers as “People in the creative field. They may spend time doing both white and blue-collar tasks as well as tasks outside either category.” Some examples are: photographers, filmmakers, directors, editors.

There are even “red-collar workers; sometimes referred to as government employees of all types and farmers.

When women began entering the workforces en masse in the 1970s, there was a time when female-dominated jobs and professions were referred to as “pink collar jobs.” nursing, teaching, libraries, social services, secretarial, etc.

A new category for a new century

Not to be outdone, the 21st Century has introduced another label for another kind of worker. HR firm UKG has referred to gray-collar workers — “Gray-collar workers often find themselves at the intersection of technology and service; in most cases, these are positions that require some combination of physical and technical skills.”

While that may be true, we like to think of gray-collar workers as people like you – people past age 50 and even into their 60s and 70s, who still want to and intend to keep working. They can put a label on you if they want, but you’re still a reliable, valuable worker – regardless of the color of your collar.


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