Age 50 +
Start by considering what you want to do next. For many people, it may be the first time in your life that you can consider what you want to do rather than what you need to do.
Learn new skills and technologies. Prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Everyone knows how difficult it is to keep up with an evolving field, all the more impressive when you’ve been doing it for a long time. Be open to new careers.
Think about the skills you have that are transferable to another industry or profession; it’s never too late to find a dream job.
Made redundant? If you’ve been made redundant, look for work as soon as you can. The longer you’re out of work, the harder it will be to find a new position.
Watch out for companies that are happy to hire older workers.
Consider self-employment. With a lot of experience, it may be straightforward enough for you to enter consulting, doing the work you know but charging higher prices than former colleagues.
Stay healthy by exercising and eating a balanced diet. This is always important, more so when you’re in a difficult transition period between jobs.
Make time for friends and family. Job hunting is similar to actors auditioning for a role; there can be many rejections before a break comes and you will need every bit of encouragement that they can give you.
Volunteering is a great way to “keep a work-based routine and keeps you involved in the community” which also translates into many networking opportunities.
Midlife job seekers need a resume that looks forward, not backward. Your CV shouldn’t read like the testimonial at your retirement dinner. Change the perspective from ‘look at everything I have done,’ to ‘look at everything I can do for you.’
Don’t be defensive and don’t omit dates. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, so be proud of what you’ve accomplished along the way and be even more enthusiastic about what you have yet to accomplish.
Play up any qualities you have that are usually associated with younger people.
Resist being put off by younger-sounding ads that use terms like fast-paced and multi-tasking. Much of what you have done required tremendous multi-tasking skills. Know that you can compete with anyone.
Join a group of people like yourself for support, advice and networking purposes.
Limit your CV to two pages, and focus on the past positions that are most relevant and impressive with regards to the job you are applying for. Registering with a temp agency is a good way to update your skills or learn new ones, especially if you are someone who prefers ‘learning by doing’.
Soften the job titles on your CV as necessary to avoid appearing overqualified. Check for arcane acronyms. Avoid appearing outdated. Be sure to specify any recent professional training courses you attended in order to demonstrate your willingness and ability to stay up-to-date. If you have good computer skills, be sure they are highlighted to help overcome the perception that older people are less computer savvy.
Looking for your first paid job after a long time as a homemaker or volunteer? Learn to portray your skills as transferable to your next job.
Realise that you will probably be interviewed by someone younger than you, and don’t be unnerved by that situation. Be prepared for interview questions that are inappropriate, borderline illegal or downright unlawful and to not get upset.
Prevent yourself from believing that you missed an opportunity solely because of your age. Most of the time it simply isn’t the case, so avoid clouding your understanding of what the issue really was and focus on any potential improvements for the next interview.
Network, network, network. Many contacts accompany much experience over a long career, and you should use that broad reach to find the people that can help you most.
A career coach may be able to guide you towards your objective. Prices can be high, so first try being your own career coach instead.
Consider boomeranging- returning to work for a former employer. You may still know people on the inside who can vouch for you.