Anthony Haynes writes: As we explained in a previous post, we frequently receive requests for careers coaching. Our solution is to partner with an expert careers coach — Denise Taylor, founder of Amazing People (www.amazingpeople.co.uk), is an expert careers coach. Here we are pleased to publish our first blog post from Denise.
Denise Taylor writes: Most of us will work well into our 60s and we may need to go job hunting at 50+.
We are not too old to get a job, but we want to ensure we use modern job search methods and make sure we position our age as an asset.
So how do you find a job at 50+?
Be clear on what you want to do and why
Don’t be vague when thinking about getting a job. Consider:
- exactly what job you would like to do
- what type of organisation you’d like to work for
You need to be clear about how to communicate this
We need to understand our signature skills and strengths. Think about the top four or five things you are really good at and keep those in mind when you’re looking for work. You never know where this may lead…
This could be the time to move into a new field and, with 10+ years ahead, it could be worth making the move.
Our choices may not revolve around the highest income, but could focus more on what we are passionate about. We may like to give something back and take on more of a development or mentoring role. Or we could have an idea for a business – it could be to take on consultancy or freelance work or to make and sell things online.
There are so many options so remember to be creative and think about what you love to do and what people are likely to pay you for. The perfect job could be at the intersection.
Use your social network
By our 50s we know lots of people. So instead of using traditional job searching channels, let your friends know what kind of job you’re looking for and ask them to let you know if they hear of any vacancies.
That could result in a job lead and you may not even need to wait for a job advert to appear online.
It’s now much less about seeing jobs advertised and registering with agencies and more about having our own presence online, via LinkedIn for example, and being proactive in contacting companies directly.
Focus on what’s relevant
You don’t need to include your full career history on your CV – 15 years of experience is probably enough.
Education dates become less relevant as we get older, so exclude those from your CV. We don’t need to include O Level details or make a point of saying that our degree was from 1978.
View your age as an asset
Although there is often some discrimination, it’s important to see our age as an asset and focus on the areas where we may have an edge over younger candidates. These include:
- Well-developed communication skills
- Life experience
But we also need to make sure that we keep our skills up-to-date. Take short courses and improve your understanding of technology, if necessary. You can demonstrate this by including your LinkedIn URL and other relevant social networking profiles on your CV.
50+ can be the perfect time to take on a new challenge and to move into our later years with a greater sense of fulfilment. So, if you are not ready to think about retirement, go out and find a job you love.
Denise Taylor is an award-winning career psychologist who specialises in cutting-edge and innovative career coaching. Her books include You’re Hired!