Finding a new job after 50 can feel daunting. There are unique challenges that you simply don’t face when you are younger – your job-hunting skills may be rusty, your industry could be changing or you could be worried about potential age discrimination.
But whether you want to change careers, are looking to get back into work after a period of time away or need a new job after leaving your last one, there are some tips you can use to help boost your chances.
The question of age
Let’s get right to it – sometime you may think age isn’t just a number when it comes to job hunting and feel you have to work harder to overcome those barriers. So what should you do for the best? Try to mask your age or use it to your advantage?
The answer is a little bit of both. When you’re applying for a job, age can be on your side, because with it comes experience. Many employers consider older candidates more dependable with a stronger work ethic. So think about your skills and key accomplishments over your life and use them to promote yourself.
On the other hand, it is a fine balancing act. While your past successes go some way to proving how capable you are for the job, keep your experiences up-to-date and relevant on your CV. While you should feel free to highlight successes from over 15 years ago, always keep your main focus on more recent events on your CV.
The majority of job and candidate hunting takes place online, so make your presence known.
Take to social sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter to build yourself up – share articles that are relevant to the industry you’re looking in, follow people you admire, post comments or answer questions. Being engaged online will help your name stand out from the crowd.
This doesn’t replace face-to-face networking, though. So make sure you’re remaining active in the industry you want: reach out to former colleagues or attend networking events.
Brush up on your skills
The internet is awash with free courses and great information. Keep your knowledge current and up-to-date by constantly learning or attending refresher courses. Don’t forget to highlight your learnings on your CV too, as it shows prospective employers that you’re still eager to progress.
Consider your options
There are many ways of working nowadays, so don’t instantly dismiss a job if it’s not a traditional, full-time, permanent contract. From short-term contracts and part-time work to temporary roles, there’s a wealth of career opportunities out there. Even if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, it could help you boost your skills or even lead to something better.
Consider what’s important to you
Money is important, but it may not be the only or main reason for taking a job. Ask yourself what is truly important to you at this stage of your life. Whether that’s using your relevant skills, making an impact or working in an industry you admire. This will also help you focus and explain your reasons if you ever want to go for a role that you may be deemed overqualified for.
Whatever your age, job hunting can be frustrating. You can’t change your circumstances, but you can change how you react to them. Don’t take it personally if your search for the right job takes longer than expected. Keep moving on and focusing on your future. Treat job hunting like an actual job itself – do it consistently every day, make sure you take breaks and look after yourself.