Archive: Over 50

Unemployed and over 50? Here are 3 things to do to get a job

Job hunting for the over 50 jobseeker

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let’s not mince words. It’s a tough job market, and more so for the over 50 jobseeker. No less than a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press—NORC Center for Public Affairs Research affirms this fact. The study revealed that close to a fourth of 50 and over are actively seeking jobs. And of these adults, more than half found the job difficult.

There’s an age bias. Many employers are skeptical about the ability of older workers to adapt to technology and new working environments. It doesn’t help that many older jobseekers were previously employed in the same department and/or in the same company for years, even decades, before they were let go. In the age of startups and technology disruptors, workplace loyalty is seen as a handicap rather than an admirable trait.

Nevertheless, there is hope for the over 50 jobseeker. The Associated Press-NORC study also revealed that many employers seek the skills and experience possessed by older jobseekers. In fact, “forty-three percent of adults age 50 years and older who have searched for a job in the last five years say they have experienced a high demand for their skills, and 31 percent have encountered a high demand for their experience.

But the question remains: How can an over 50 jobseeker accentuate the skills and experience earned over the years on the job and st.ill work around the age bias? Here are 3 things you should be doing to get you a job:

1.     Take stock

What are you good at?

Take a hard look at your current resume, look back at the jobs you’ve held over the years and carefully assess the skills you’ve picked up along the way. Also take stock of the achievements you’re proud of.

When you’re feeling “out of the loop,” this exercise not only builds your confidence but also provides a better perspective on what your skills and values are. The latter is extremely important when determining your job options. It may even widen your job options by encouraging you to consider some roles that match your skill set but you would have otherwise overlooked because its in a different role or industry altogether.

2.     Stay connected

Do you have an online profile?

Employers aren’t convinced that older workers are able to adapt to the changing work environment. If you don’t have an online presence, such as a LinkedIn profile or even Twitter, you may be giving the impression that you aren’t able to or even willing to adapt to changes.

Beyond that, social media may be just what you need to get people to notice you. Re-connect with old networks, discover new ones, and share your thoughts, ideas and experiences.

3.     Upgrade

What are you willing to learn to get a job?

Sometimes, it’s not enough to know what you are good at. Asking yourself what you’re willing to learn may be what you need to get that job.

Take an online course! Some classes are free and some are surprisingly affordable to take. Even top universities and business schools, such as Wharton, MIT and Stanford, have entered the fray and have launched online courses. Take the time to learn a new skill or two, let potential employers know that you still have what it takes to roll with the times.

 

Don’t let the age bias get in the way of your career. As somebody who has seen and been through it all, you’ve got a lot to offer. You just need to find the right organization that will value your skills and values—and, more importantly, be very compelling when convincing them that you are exactly what they need.

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