Son Asks LinkedIn To Help Out His 'Scared' 59-Year-Old Dad Who Lost His Cashier Job

He was determined to help his elderly dad navigate the work force, & it worked like a charm.

Son asks LinkedIn for help with unemployed dad LinkedIn

Losing a job can be a harrowing experience, especially in today's job market. But when you're over a certain age? That uphill climb is all the steeper. 

So when one guy's 59-year-old dad unexpectedly lost his job, he wasn't about to let him slip through the cracks. He immediately took to the internet on his dad's behalf, and his network did not disappoint.

A son asked his LinkedIn network to help his elderly dad find a job, and they stepped up in a major way.

Patrick McCarthy, a communications and marketing professional from Washington, posted to the job-networking site LinkedIn on his dad's behalf because his dad didn't have a LinkedIn profile.


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The son wrote that his 59-year-old dad was terrified about having unexpectedly lost his job as a cashier.

"I would tag him here, but he doesn’t have a LinkedIn," McCarthy wrote of his dad, Peter Judge. "He doesn’t even really know how to make his next move." So McCarthy made it for him, writing a heartfelt post about his jobs decades-long career in customer service and what he's always loved about his jobs over the years. 


McCarthy wrote that his dad has been in the service industry for years, working in stores like Walgreens', Fry's and Winco Foods, his most recent job, where he worked as a cashier. "He loved his job," McCarthy wrote. "He loved his customers. Thousands of faces passed through his lane, and he had so many stories about those faces."

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McCarthy went on to write about what he loves about his dad, and how he has always brought those same things to his career. 

"He loves his customers," McCarthy said of his dad. "He loves being the reason people come back. He loves seeing customers seek out his lane for check-ins and updates. He said to me, 'I’m good at this stuff.'"

McCarthy then went on to credit his dad's work ethic and love of his customers as foundational to the values he had instill in him. "He and I share our empathy," he wrote. "Our listening ears. Our understanding. I can tell he’s my dad."


He then described his dad as "shocked. Overwhelmed. Scared. Emotional," after having gotten his recent bad news about losing his cashier job, and as an older man without much internet savvy, he was unsure how to even begin looking for a new position.

But McCarthy remained hopeful that his LinkedIn network would step up to help his dad. "I know whoever is reading this and this LinkedIn community can make magic happen," he wrote to his followers.

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Elderly and senior citizen workers have a much harder time finding and keeping a job than younger workers due to market forces and ageist discrimination. 

According to a 2020 analysis by the American Association of Retired Persons, a national advocacy group for those 55 and older, workers over 55 have a far more difficult time finding a job when they are laid off or fired and remain unemployed much longer than younger workers while job-hunting.


The AARP also found in 2021 that the number of workers reporting having witnessed or experienced age discrimination in the workplace was the highest since 2003, with 78% of senior workers reporting having fallen victim to ageism at their jobs or in their job search.

And across industries, companies have for years been restructuring positions to push out older workers so that they can be replaced with younger, less experienced and most importantly, cheaper workers, resulting in far fewer opportunities even for workers in their 30s and 40s, let alone senior citizens. 

This all comes as more senior citizens than ever are staying in or joining the workforce due to the increasing unaffordability of retirement, as the TikTok below shows.

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Experts like career and leadership coach Andrew LaCivita say that to overcome these negative forces, networking is vitally important for older workers. As LaCivita lays out in the video below, there is a 46% chance that your next job will come from networking if you're over 50.

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It turns out McCarthy's instincts to get his dad on LinkedIn were the right ones, and his network did not disappoint.


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The son's LinkedIn post resulted in an outpouring of support and job offers for his senior citizen dad.

"I’m excited for his next step," McCarthy wrote of his dad. "This guy is someone you want on your team." And it turned out his LinkedIn network heartily agreed. 

In the comments under McCarthy's heartfelt post, scores of people chimed in to offer his dad Peter new connections with recruiters and HR professionals. And many had actual job leads for him in all sorts of fields, from the customer service and grocery industries he's worked in for decades to new fields like airlines and even becoming a wilderness guide for tourists in Phoenix, where he currently lives. 


Several also had those all-important networking resources to share with McCarthy's dad, which led to him finally making a LinkedIn profile for himself. 

In the end, it turns out not everyone is as down on hiring senior citizens as the statistics suggest. As one respondent to McCarthy's post put it, "our parents have a lot of value to add to organizations through their lived experiences, empathy, and wisdom." Here's hoping that perspective catches on with more people in the business world.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.