The Job Hunt For Older Workers
Older workers who lose their jobs often find it tougher than their younger cohorts to get back into comparable jobs. They often find themselves long term unemployed or stitching together multiple part-time roles to make ends meet. If you find yourself looking for the next step or a fresh start as an older job seeker, here are some of the challenges you may face.
- You are overqualified. A lifetime of skills should be valuable, but many companies want to save money by hiring younger employees at less cost. Fight this by showing why the job should be yours, even if you are overqualified on paper.
- Potential employers might say that they need someone tech savvy in a role. The response is that you are ready to learn and do whatever is necessary to be more tech savvy.
- A potential employer might claim that they are looking for someone to grow into the role. This could be a code that the company wants someone younger and cheaper. Age discrimination is illegal, but it is a reality.
- The potential employer might be looking for a specialist. When seeking a job, pitch your strongest skill set.
- Or, they might simply say 'we don’t have any senior level openings.' Don’t give up. Network and make as broad of a search as possible to find an opening despite the fact that you are gracefully greying.
A lifetime of experience can be a valuable asset in the right place. As Kate Lopaze states in an article in thejobnetwork.com, if you’re a mid- or later-career job seeker, it can feel like there are many factors working against you as you look for your new career opportunities. But it’s important not to feel stuck, and make sure that you’re creating a lean, focused approach to branding yourself. Being ready for these challenges can help you navigate them more easily when they come your way.