Older Workers Get Back to Work
In the game of work, sometimes life just isn't fair. According to career expert Joni Daniels, often times the older you are, the longer it takes to find a job. That's where planning comes into play. On Good Morning Maryland @ 9, Daniels explained how to gain a competitive advantage.
Top 10 Tips for Older Workers
1. Focus on Your Experience – Older workers DO have more experience so make sure employers see the value you bring. Focus on the last 10-15 years and simply summarize any previous experience as it pertains to the job you are seeking.
2. Keep Your Skills Current – Don’t sound old by looking down your nose at new trends. Embrace current terminology and technology. You don’t need to have 250 friends or Tweet daily to know about Facebook and Twitter and how organizations use it to create brand awareness.
3. Seek Out Firms that Embrace Older Workers – Organizations who employ a wide range of ages are more aware of the value older workers bring and more open to employing more of them.
4. Network – It’s not just who YOU know, it’s also about who knows YOU. Jobs at senior levels are the least likely to be advertised. Get out and talk about current trends and issues so that people know you are involved, aware, and available. Get involved with professional associations, volunteer opportunities so you can show people what you can do. The more others see what you can accomplish, the less they will focus on your age.
5. Cast a Wide Net – Broaden the range of organizations you apply to for employment. Increase the odds by increasing the number of firms you consider.
6. Meet Unstated Needs – It is often the older worker, who has more flexibility and can work early, late hours, longer hours, or travel. Employees with family obligations may not have the flexibility you do. Make sure prospective employers know that.
7. Be Flexible – Getting your feet in the door may be the first step to a goal of full-time employment. Be open to part-time, flex-time, or job-sharing. If you have a pension or already have health benefits, make sure an employer knows that you may cost them less than a competitor.
8. Consider a Career Change – Many older workers consider a total career change. Explore accelerated certification programs in education, going back to school, and investigate programs/scholarships/grants that target older workers.
9. Use Resources Just for You – There are resources that target the older worker so take advantage of the help that is available: The National Older Worker Career Center (www.nowcc.org), AARP (www.aarp.org/money/work), Senior Job Bank (www.seniorjobbank.org), or Quintessential Careers (http://quintcareers.com/index.html) are just a sample of the places to start.
10. Don’t Get Discouraged – Looking for work can be difficult no matter what your age. Find support groups, give yourself permission to continue doing things that give you a break from the job hunt and bring joy into your life.
And keep at it – the best way to find that employers who value your life experience, maturity and skills is to be out there where they can find you.