This article is written by Peter James, Director of Career Life Transitions, a Career Money Life Certified Supplier. You can view the original article here.
Are you over 50 and looking for work?
I don’t know that people over 50 are anymore likely to lose their jobs than any other age group in the workforce, but the more immediate challenge for them is, how can I get another one?
Well, maybe this is the best career opportunity you’ve had since you left school. For most people it would be the first time they could sit back, review their situation and make some good choices and make dramatic changes.
On the surface, losing your job in the later years of your career can be frightening, daunting and challenging, but it doesn’t need to be.
Here are the top 5 tips for finding your dream job rolling into retirement.
1. It’s all about attitude. Some might consider ageism and/or discrimination to be an obstacle in job search. How does this add value? It’s irrelevant to the bigger goal: Getting a job! Approach everything with an eager ‘can do’ attitude, it goes a long, long way.
2. Be prepared to be flexible. Stop, relax, breath and take a considered look at your options, you don’t need to stay at, or move to a higher position necessarily. You may not even need to stay in the same industry. People over 50 have enormous life experience and therefore, a large range of transferable skills that may be sort after in other industries or professions.
3. Consider investigating industries and professions that recruit across broad demographics, also look at the profile of the company. Large companies attract many applicants, applying to smaller companies usually means reduced competition. Some industries whose customers are primarily older people, also seek and appreciate an older workforce.
4. Use your network, and if you don’t have one, get one! Word of mouth (&recommendations) are the strongest advocate for you, regardless of your age. If you don’t know how to use LinkedIn or social media, then consider getting on board. At a minimum, get on the phone and build your network, talk to colleagues, hiring managers, anyone who’s in your interest area.
5. Never say ‘can’t. You ‘can’ teach old dogs new tricks, so get out there and learn. At any stage or age a company wants to employ someone who is enthusiastic and wants to work there, and is prepared to learn and give it a solid go. Be prepared to learn technology and new things about a different business or industry.
When a very senior Mining Executive came to see me after being made redundant, he was so angry that he wanted to jump straight into another role, same level, same pay and same stress. After investigating his financial situation, we found that he really only needed a top up to his super and he would be more than comfortable in his retirement (3 years away). Taking a less stressful job with less pay took a lot of pressure off him and his family and really made no difference in the long run…and he got to have a happy balance between work and personal life.
When a senior executive from the finance industry came to see us after 30 years with the same company, he had already made his mind up. He wanted to be a tour guide. A beautiful way to ease into retirement while keeping an active brain, interacting with lots of people and maintaining a wonderful work life balance.
It doesn’t need to be difficult. Personally, my role was made redundant over 50 and I now run and own a successful consulting company supporting people just like me.
Don’t give up, don’t get downhearted and don’t be despondent, those thoughts aren’t going to help you.
It’s a matter of changing your mindset.
Get out there, get active, get networking, your next job is out there, the challenge is getting together with the people who are offering it.