If you are over 50 you are probably feeling like things aren’t what they used to be. Are you feeling old? Left out? Are you getting excuses for not being hired? Are you told you are over-qualified? Whether you are over 50 or 60 or yes, even 70, and still want to work, here are 5 ways to deal with challenges in your job search.
1.Energy – Some jobs require a high level of energy – lots of evening or weekend work, lots of travel to distant places. The underlying implication is that if you are of a certain age, you do not have the stamina or energy required to do the job. Make it plain during the interview process that you are fit, by mentioning any one of the things you do to stay in shape: e.g., you walk two miles a day at lunch, you go to a gym, you practice yoga, you are a cyclist, a swimmer, or you pursue some other physical activity. You want to give the impression that you are fit, you stay fit and you have lots of energy.
2.Technical expertise – When you are a certain age, it is sometimes assumed that you are not conversant with the latest software, applications or social media. It is your job to learn the applications, be active on social media …if you do not have someone who can teach you, go to a class or watch YouTube or take an online course or a free course at your local library. Don’t let your age be a detriment. Make sure you are familiar with, and can use, these apps and social media.
3.Salary – Once again, the assumption is you have been working for a long time, therefore you want a certain salary and the company is not really interested or able to pay you what they think you want to earn. Save salary negotiations for when they actually offer you the job. During the process stay focused on what you can do for the company, how you can solve their problems, how you have solved similar challenges for other companies and you can do the same for them. You may not require the high salary they think you want, or even as much as your last job. It is important to emphasize your ability to do the job and solve their problems, and that salary will not be an issue.
4.Passion – Just because you are of a certain age, that does not diminish your passion for your field. In fact, your biggest asset may be your passion. You have dedicated a lifetime to doing a particular job, solving particular problems, and you are at the top of your game. You not tired, worn out, done with. On the contrary, you need to show that your enthusiasm for your field or job title is infectious….Don’t for a moment let up on your interest. Make your passion palpable during the interview, on the phone, and in all your written communications.
5.What NOT to Do – Don’t forget to be prepared. Don’t forget to research the company thoroughly. Don’t be tired. When they say, “You are not a good cultural fit”, that is code speak for you are too old, you won’t fit into the young millennial atmosphere. Try to find a way to show you get along well with millennials.
Nowadays, people are living to 95 and beyond and are still active mentally and physically. Any company would be lucky to hire you if you are smart, tech-savvy, passionate, and full of energy.