Joe had fifteen years of experience, working with a law firm. Manny had just four years. Both were exceptionally talented and deserved a promotion. When the time for promotion arrived, Manny got promoted and Joe was sacked. Joe was 53. He was devastated. It took Joe a whole year to get a new job. So what went wrong here?
Joe’s problem is one that resonates with all employees over age fifty at the work place. The generation gap is widening between the young and the old employees. In such difficult economic times, jobs are hard to come by, especially for older employees.
So what can you do, to get hired after fifty?
Here are some tips for what you need to do to make sure your job hunt does not last forever:
- Portray your flexible style of work
Prove those perceptions wrong. People over fifty need not be set in their ways. They can be flexible too. Even though it may be difficult for you, you have to show the new employer that you can work with different people of different age groups. It is your flexibility and your attitude that will help you convince the employer of your potential.
- Let it not be only about You
If you are over fifty then you may have worked at multiple organizations or you have several years of experience in the same company. However, do not make the mistake of narrating your resume in too much detail. Do not show off your skills and all your achievements.
- Technology has arrived
Most young people are very comfortable with using basic technology such as computers, web applications, e-mails, and mobile phones. Learn how to use basic programs needed at work. Find out what technology is used in your prospective job and then learn it.
- Do not worry about age
What you have and most young people don’t, is experience. You have probably faced more business challenges in your career than anyone else. In your cover letter and resume, detail your experience and in the interviews talk about all that you have learned over the years; how that experience can be useful on the job.
- Younger boss? No problem
Most young executives are concerned that people over fifty will find it uncomfortable to report to someone who is younger than they are. But, during the interview if you are able to convince them that you are demonstrated success at a previous job, working under a younger boss then the new job might just be yours. Do not make them perceive you as a threat to their authority and position. Have a discussion and convince them about how your skills and experience can help advance both your careers.
- Flexibility with pay
Prove yourself first and then demand a higher pay packet. Initially, if you are willing to accept a lower compensation than other younger candidates then you can negotiate on the performance-based bonus at a later stage. It’s quite possible that this decision will help you make more money in the long run.
- Networking helps
Before you apply for a job, build your professional network on Linkedin.com. A LinkedIn.com profile is a great way to demonstrate your eagerness for the job and your social media skills to prospective employers.
- Analyze yourself
It’s very difficult to analyze your own strengths and weaknesses but you need to do this so that you present yourself better on a resume.
- Be more Accepting
Accept the fact that you are over fifty and you are competing with people who may be younger than you but more qualified in terms of degree or study. Don’t let this bother you. Present yourself in the best way possible and be confident of succeeding.
Persevere long enough and no matter what your age is, you will find yourself a suitable job.