Five Steps to employment for the over-50 Job-search
Companies have shed a lot of middle managers since 2009, many of whom have been highly compensated executives over 50. Employers have learned to do more with less and to out-source functions wherever possible. Still, there is work to be done. If you are over 50 and looking for a new job, you must pay close attention to the following five steps to employment.
1 Assess your skills and capabilities:
Don't think in terms of job titles you have held, but of your accomplishments and how they were achieved. Employers need people to solve problems. Prepare an inventory of your skills and accomplishments. In fact, this would be a good exercise to complete with the people in your network. They will likely have a useful perspective. It is also a good reason to reach out to your network to stay top-of-mind as to your availability for that next opportunity. Use this exercise to evaluate new options.
2 Work your network:
Networking is the best use of your time! Your network may be your most important asset and likely a competitive advantage over younger workers! You must reach out to all of them. Pick their brains as to what they are seeing in the market as well as possibilities for you. You should have them organized into an email group that will allow for easy communication. Update them on your progress. Make sure that you are actively seeking out important new contacts. Buying coffee or lunches for these folks is an excellent investment.
3 Work on your image:
One benefit of being between situations is the additional time recovered, especially that time otherwise spent on your commute. I would advise that you retain the same sleep-waking schedule you had while working, just use that time differently. Substitute your commute time for exercise, research, and for updating your technology skills. Get back to a healthy diet. A sleek and healthy image will help shorten your job-search.
4 Your on-line presence:
If you are not on LinkedIn, you should be, and your profile must be complete. Otherwise, you are hurting yourself. Employers are looking for you, but they cannot find you or if they do, your profile is not impressive. Consider a paid subscription to LinkedIn. Now is a good time to join and become active in those groups that parallel your interests. Position yourself as a thought-leader. You should consider starting a blog and developing your own website to further your on-line presence. Remember, employers are looking you. Make it easier to find you.
5 Consider a career coach:
You must be competitive! Job-search techniques and tools are changing rapidly. A good coach will help you with search strategy, interview prep, and communication effectiveness. If you are not a long time resident of your current location, someone who can help with important introductions is vital. Our company has been providing Mentoring and Coaching services for many years.
Those over-50 are healthier and more active than their parent's generation so age isn't an issue per se. However, the mature employee brings some expectations that may not fit the needs of potential employers. They have their own biases. Technology skills and employment laws present risks to the employer, while compensation requirements may be at odds with their budgets. One must present themself as a reliable problem-solver. You have much to offer, however, you need to understand the needs of the employer, define your capabilities, and market yourself as with any brand. Follow these five steps to ensure a shortened time between jobs.
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Jim Weber, President
New Century Dynamics Executive Search