There is ageism out there. We know it. We sense it. Sometimes we can’t put our finger on it but it is there. So if you are in your fifties or older and still want to work here are some strategies to get you working again. And after all, most of us are going to be living well into our 80’s and even 90’s. We need to earn income for the next ten to twenty years. So, what are you going to do about it?
Tell a good story– In your pitch, cover letter, resume and interview you should include a story or two or three of a problem you solved, an obstacle you overcame, a great project that you led. Think of a couple of stories that showcase your skills, your personality and your ability to get things done, to get along with diverse team members. Tell the story in a conversational tone about how you solved a problem, saved money, earned money, developed a new process, analyzed a compound, or enhanced customer service.
Learn a new skill –It may sound trite, but it is true. You are never too old to learn a new skill. A course, a certificate, or even a whole new direction committing to a longer term program, adds to your skill set and your resume. And learning something new, whether it is an application, a process, or a foreign language improves your memory and helps grown neurons in your brain.
Write a blog – With all your years of experience in a particular field, now is the time to let everyone out there know you are a subject matter expert. Select a narrow topic that can be covered in 250 to 500 words. Instead of waiting to be asked for an interview, write your blog and put it out there on LinkedIn and Facebook and see how many people read it, follow you, and like it.
Try working part-time – Sometimes we need to take a step back to move forward. Taking part-time work through an agency may help you financially and emotionally while you are conducting your job search. Don’t expect to get paid at the same rate as your previous full-time job. Look at it as a way to earn some money while you continue your job search. And you will be expanding your network at the same time. And you can use it to fill the gap in time on your resume.
Start a consulting business – All the expertise you have gained through your full time work may have prepared you to start your own consulting business. That is something not to be taken lightly as it requires planning, a business plan, a marketing plan and some clients to get started. Often people will be able to work on projects for the company that has just let them go.
There are lots of other ways to combat ageism as I previously discussed in the first blog I wrote on this topic. These include networking, volunteer work, showing passion, and keeping fit. See my post on LinkedIn from December 28.
Amy Geffen, PhD is a Five O’Clock Club Certified Career Coach with over 30 years of experience in non-profits, associations and college administration. She has worked with financial, insurance and engineering professionals as well as lawyers, academics, college students, and non-profit executives.
(c) Amy Geffen All rights reserved.