With lifestyle changing now, the younger workers are inclined toward early retirement plans while the older workers are eager in their job search. And after the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was passed under the US Labour law in 1967, there are finally opportunities with job offers for the older worker category.
As per the U.S. News & World Report, the national bureau has confirmed the decline in the unemployment rate ever since the law was passed and confirmed that it is currently stuck at 3.6%. Another economic research found that older candidates who have taken voluntary retirements in the past or have lost their older jobs are moving back to the market, looking for jobs after 50, in an environment that is competitive and technologically advanced.
An important thing to remember is that the older applicants today have already had their share of hard work and dedication at a job that was more manual and laborious than it will ever be in the recent jobs. However, with the right guidance and focus, it is only about time before anyone in their 50s on a job search can bag a new job for themselves today.
So, if you are in your 50s (or 60s & so on) and are looking for a way to put aside the possibility of age discrimination and pass that interview process, we have created a simple guide that you can implement in your daily routine.
Especially if you wish to kick start a new career path and feel unsure of how to take that first big step; the job search.
To find out more about getting a good job after 50, read these tips and tricks.
9 Tips for Getting a New Job in Your 50s
In this article, we are going to be your virtual career coach on your journey to an apt job search. We will keep it basic and to the point, for you to understand what you may have been lacking while appearing for that executive-level job interview, or that part-time assistant job (Read this excellent article about the best sites to find part-time job). Remember to follow these tips and you can be assured of great results.
1. Demonstrate Your Knowledge and Leverage Your Experience
You have had your share of experience of the world and of how things happen in a workplace. You have the basic understanding of any skillset required today. Share what you know, and use your knowledge to your advantage, it is never a bad idea to share your experiences with others, particularly during a job interview.
What you know and have done for several years at work is what will make your candidature stand out and show that you’re confident. Your knowledge of any task that still exists in the industry in any form is always going to be a good thing and will help you get a new job.
Technology or not, the basic idea of any task remains the same. So, remember that when you converse with an employer next time.
2. Keep Up Your Looks, Your Spirit, and Your Energy
Nothing like a person who wishes to win the world by finding a job that fits them perfectly. But first, ask yourself- am I dressing for the job I want? Do I look like a person whose personality reflects what they say in their speech?
Because, at the end of the day, your presentability will get you those brownie points. And when one looks the part, their spirit cannot be slowed down by anything.
It is important to remember to show confidence when communicating with a potential employer during an interview process, your spirit and energy will be another thing that will make the interviewer consider you over others.
Nobody wants rammed-up answers from experienced employees, the more passion you put into your answers, the better it conveys your worthiness to the interviewer.
Hence, dress up decent and be passionate about the job you aspire for, and age will be no more a barrier in getting you the best opportunities.
3. Position yourself as a mentor
As someone who may have lived a good part of their life working under the marketing manager, now is the time to sell yourself as a potential mentor in the field, and not just a mere subordinate. Similarly, you can be in a leadership role within your team, acting as a leader, helping a younger manager as well as your colleagues.
Everyone wants to hear the thoughts of an experienced person, irrespective of whether they are from the same industry or have any relevant experience.
Your seniority is your USP. Use it to show that you may be assigned a simple job profile, but you can always be a leading figure in the form of a team player that the younger colleagues in the team can look up to for any crucial decisions, ideas, or suggestions on how to do a task or manage services.
Being a 50-year-old person in a team with a younger manager can be a lot beneficial, giving you the leverage over them as a respectable figure with more experience and understanding than what they may have gained so far. Use that seniority by helping them as a mentor and helping them achieve individual and organizational goals.
Organizations specifically look out for people within the senior age groups who can work as a consultant to the organization’s business requirements. Such jobs can be found in the market, the only thing you’d need is the matching skillset to act as a consultant for the organization.
4. Optimize Your Resume
It is about time that you left the paper-based lengthy curriculum vitae behind and went for the upgrade, a new and crisp resume. While your skills may be too old for the new world, how you present them in your resume is what matters.
Expressing your professional learnings on your resume by writing great descriptions is a good idea. And it is always advised to highlight the things you’d want to grab the attention of your potential employers, the hiring managers, especially if it is a younger manager.
Having a cover letter is also an added advantage these days. Hiring experts are now inclined towards applications that come with a cover letter, stating in detail what the candidate wishes to share about themselves and their aspirations for the future.
Moreover, technology is being used to select the best resumes too. These application tracking systems allow organizations to track and pick resumes that suit the job profile from within the sea of too many job seekers on a lookout.
And, at the end of the day, for older job seekers like yourself, it is a prerequisite now to keep your resume up to date while also ensuring that your resume gets picked in the applicant tracking system installed by these tech-savvy companies.
5. Use Your Network
With years of experience comes the number of associations and networks created within various workgroups, and professionals that you’ve interacted with during events and meetings.
To get a good kick start in your 50s, you should reach out to the people in your network and try and find job opportunities through such contacts.
Having good connections can help convert possibilities into jobs. Such connections could also help judge whether an opportunity matches your skillset and keeping that in mind they could set you up for interviews.
Your network will also prove beneficial in ensuring that you have stability in your newly found career path with a background check on the job opportunity and the potential employers.
Hence, it is always a good thing to check with your peers, former bosses, ex-colleagues, and people you’ve known throughout your professional career. Important thing is that as an older job seeker, it is always advantageous to know someone within the organization in which you seek a full-time job.
6. Keep Learning/Update Your Skills
Learning never stops, and it shouldn’t, especially when you’re trying to get a good job. Knowledge always helps you achieve your goals, and hence, it is important to keep updated with the latest topics, technological changes, or computer skills required for a certain type of job hunting.
Online courses in basic computers, specialization courses in various industrial skills, etc. are great supporters for someone restarting their career at 50.
Your skills decide whether you’re capable of doing a job, and if you can achieve these skills by learning from a professional, you’ll never feel like one of those older workers. Now and then, adding new skills to your professional profile helps ensure your understanding of what’s working and what’s not.
A skill set may become outdated, but its knowledge will always be gold. You can always showcase the knowledge of an outdated skillset while also being proficient in the latest skills required for a job. It helps build a strong profile and makes you feel more confident when applying for newer opportunities.
7. Don’t Limit Your Job Search
People in a job search are always advised to widen their search when looking for an opportunity in the job market. You cannot find what you’re looking for by keeping a closed mind and limited options.
Many times people make the mistake of going with a certain platform for doing the job hunt. This causes them to lose several relevant opportunities that could have been converted into new jobs, by looking at other places.
In job searching, it is important to optimize your options by looking at all available platforms that are accessible to you. Moreover, with the increased number of online portals offering jobs, and getting interviews done, it is no more difficult for old job seekers to find what they’re looking for.
You can also create a profile on social media platforms meant specifically focusing on professional lives and finding relevant job opportunities. You can narrow down the job searching by checking the requirements and offers made by potential employers and sharing details on the work location, a designation offered, compensation, and other benefits provided by the organization.
LinkedIn is one such social media platform that allows you to share your professional knowledge with a greater audience, virtually. And it also allows you to look for jobs online. You can now simply apply for a job based on the description available online.
8. Demonstrate Your Fluency With Technology
Technology is the greatest skill set one can possess. And for older workers, it is always an advantage that the hiring manager cannot overlook. Being tech-savvy will prove to be beneficial in many ways. If you’re not tech-savvy, it’s time to get started.
Being affluent in new technology is the key to most of the jobs these, the reason being – online interviews using Google Meet, and Zoom as the mode. If you can’t get through these, you’ll probably have difficulty doing other technology-related tasks.
But worry not, this is the time to start learning through free/paid online courses, online tutorials, and YouTube tutorials, that’ll teach you everything, from using Zoom to creating an excel file report.
But, before you start, one prerequisite would be to have an online account, an email address that’ll work as your online identity and which you’ll use to access all the other apps. A Gmail account or an AOL email account could be a good way to start working towards and finding that perfect job for yourself.
9. Be flexible and open to change
While you try and work towards what you aspire to do, there’s also a need to be flexible towards the opportunities that come your way. If a potential offer is giving you all the freedom that you’d like, but only at risk or setback that confuses you, it may be time to rethink your goals.
Sometimes a job offer with a location constraint or a below-expectation salary package may seem not good enough, however, you’ll need to remember your motive; to start a new career for yourself.
Change is constant, and it almost always brings in something great, if you stay positive and look at it from the right perspective.
You may not find the same jobs that you did when you were starting as a fresher, things will feel different, but you need to remember what your end goal is and focus on achieving it. Even if that means bending your own rules a bit and taking a different path this time. So, don’t worry just go for it!
Time for some frequently asked questions and their answers that will help you understand the what’s and why’s of this article.
1. What is the best career to start at 50?
It depends on who you are as a person, and what you want to do. Remember that no job is big or small. If you love fixing things around your house and can perform the plumbing work efficiently, you could also be a specialist offering the best plumbing services in town. There’s no right or wrong in choosing a career at 50 or even after, you just need to be passionate and confident about what you do.
2. Is 55 too old to get a job?
55, like any other age, is a perfect age to find a job. If you’re healthy and ready to win the world, take that step and give that interview. Only your skills will tell whether you’re the right fit for the job or not. Age discrimination happens when a potential employer feels you are unhealthy for the job or unskilled to perform the role.
So take care of yourself, and keep adding to your skillset.
3. How can I get a job at 50 with no experience?
Several organizations hire people with no experience, offering them less money but a definite work experience. You can also apply for contract-based jobs that can vary from short to long periods and offer a great opportunity to people with no experience. Everything boils down to whether you have a skillset to showcase or the dedication to work hard towards any new skills required at that one job.
The Bottom Line
At the end of this long discussion of what a 50-plus person can achieve or not, the only thing that matters is that the person is willing to put their time and energy into a new activity, a task that they may not have performed before in a work environment.
Things may seem tough initially if you’re in a new work territory or are planning to work after a long gap and a longer work history, but then that is always the case with anything new that we wish to do throughout our lives.
These 9 tips that we’ve shared with you are the base of everything that you’ll ever need to get that job you’re obsessed with or appear for that interview you’re too scared to bomb in. The crux remains the same, you’ll need to be up to date, be open to anything new, and learn the latest tricks to make your potential employer fall for you.
With flexibility and eagerness to do something new, anything that makes you curious as a young child, you can achieve all your goals, professional or personal.
The real question remains if YOU are that person who can do all this? If the answer is yes, then you can be assured that with your current skill set, or an updated one, if you plan to learn new things, you can find a job in your 50s, or even after that.
And again, remember to stay fit, eat healthily and keep a check on your goals and what you wish to achieve so that you can bag the perfect job and be happily dedicated to your new professional life.