Friday, August 1, 2008

Is There Employment After 50?

There is quite some difficulty in terms of job searching and the new graduates and people aged 50 years and above find it more daunting.

The article below discusses tips on discovering the job market for people over 50 or who are returning from retirement, or are in the middle of career transitions.

By Susan Dunn

I'm the "Ask the Expert" for some websites, and lately I've been getting questions about employment after 50. Since many of my clients are in midlife career transitions, I can tell you firsthand - yes, there is life after 50.

However, I sought more external validation. Since these workers assumed no one wants them over 50, I set out to find employers who preferred people over 50. I found 6 people who said what we all know - generalities don't apply in every case - but on average they would look first at the candidate over 50, and their reasons varied. Some employers don't consider age at all, and all have their preferences, but they vary, so don't assume the opposite!

So what should you do if you're downsized, retiring, or simply ready to be revitalized?
First of all, consider the experience you've gained in your own field. Now consider that transition coaches know this much about what they do, and hire a coach. It's a good time to have someone with expertise and experience in your corner! Some career coaches work with companies to see what the culture and climate is like before they refer you!
Work on your attitude. If you aren't excited, happy and positive, you should be, because this could be your chance to finally do what you really want to do.

Flexibility, an EQ competency, will come in handy. The more flexible you can be in your thinking, the more options you'll have. One retired military officer I knew, started volunteering at a homeless shelter, and then when the job of director came up, they already knew and trusted him, and he was hired.
Use your networks. Talk to the people you know. One of my clients who's moving said he was going to call the his fellow alumni in the new town. "One person knows one person…" he said. If you're a networker, the hunt will go faster.

Assess your strengths. I recommend the StrengthsFinder™ profile with interpretation from an experienced coach. This assessment taps your innate talents, which may have been jostled, shunted aside, considered a weakness, or be no longer recognizable. This is a chance to get to the core you, and maybe for the first time get the job you were meant to do. I've seen it happen!
If you choose to work for someone else, remember your age will be more of an issue if you agree! I've always had friends of all ages, and I've seen people of all ages make contributions to the places where I've worked.

Share the knowledge you've gained from experience, mentoring folks who are younger, just because it feels good and helps the workplace.

Some people chose this time to jump ship and go into business on their own, or become consultants.

Both of these involve marketing ability, which may be new to you, and the mindset of the entrepreneur so, again, I'd recommend a coach. It can save you a lot of time and "learning experiences."