Job Seeking Tips for Older Workers by Robin Trimingham
The thought of searching for a new job if you are over fifty can be a scary proposition but once you get past your fears you might discover that a career change might be just what you needed to kick-start your ho-hum life.
Under ideal circumstances, embarking on this change would be a carefully researched and planned transition involving aptitude tests, career guidance and the assistance of an experienced head hunter.
But what do you do if you are suddenly made redundant by your last employer and you really didn’t see it coming?
Firstly – don’t panic
Sit down at the kitchen table with a notepad and a large glass of water. Next swallow hard and make a list of your monthly expenses and a realistic budgetary plan for how you are going to cover this gap in employment financially.
Next drink some water.
Now take a clean piece of paper and make a list of as many skills as you can that you possess that a new employer might value. Yes, good spelling is a skill – put down every last thing that you can think of.
That’s quite a list you’ve got there, isn’t it?
Now take another sip of water, and then start circling the skills that you would be part of your ideal next job. Take your time with this part and consider both the things you enjoy doing, and how these things can be grouped together in a realistic way that would result in a job description where you would be the ideal candidate.
Make sure that you consider things like the distance that you would have to travel to work to secure a job of this nature, the amount of physical stamina that this position would require and the compensation package that you would have to receive in order to be able to accept this position when you find it.
This may take you an hour or the better part of a week.
The objective is to create as clear a picture in your mind of the position that you are searching for as possible. Once you have a vision of this “dream job” set about updating your resume to emphasize the occasions on which you utilized these skills throughout your career. Then draft a statement regarding your desire to use these skills to assist your next employer to growing, expanding, or improving their business. Make sure that you statement is very sincere and absolutely truthful.
The final, and most important step is to start telling everyone that encounter that you are seeking an employment situation that will enable you to: “insert statement here”.
Depending on your personality type, and / or the length of time that it has been since you last changed jobs, telling people that you are searching for a position may be an easy or difficult thing to accomplish, but accomplish it you must. Only about 10 percent of job vacancies are advertised publicly; the vast majority of positions are filled by networking referrals.
When you do get to an interview, make sure you read up on what they company does, what their corporate culture is like and who is on their executive. On the day of the interview, wear a new outfit and do not mention or (heaven forbid) apologize for your age. Simply talk about the value of your experience to the organization hiring and your keenness to make a contribution to their team. The more you believe that you will be a perfect fit for the position being offered – the more the interviewer will too.
By Robin Trimingham