I’m 52 years old. I’ve heard that the over 50 workforce could be hit the worst as a result of all the restructurings due to COVID-19. I can see why. Companies are focused on cutting costs. Many seasoned workers are on the higher end of the pay spectrum. Letting one of them go can be more cost-effective than letting two more junior people go.
Meanwhile, study after study indicates older workers plan to work longer and put off retirement. I have to assume that’s even more true now. So, how do you find work when the odds are stacked against you due to your age? Here’s what I coach all my clients to do.
Step 1: Assess your skills-market fit. You have a lot of skills, but many of them aren’t as vital right now. Knowing which of your skills can save and/or make a company money helps you market your value to employers. They need to justify the cost of hiring you. The more value you can articulate, the better.
Step 2: Do NOT market yourself as a generalist or “Jack-of-all-Trades.” Many over 50 workers think their value lies in the diversity of their skill sets. They want to be able to say, “I can do it all”. All that does is set you up for being seen as “overqualified”. Remember, you already are being seen as more expensive than your junior counterparts. Tell employers that you can do everything sends the message you are expensive.
Step 3: Practice “intellectual humility” in your networking and interviewing. Seasoned workers often make the mistake of wanting to “flex” their knowledge. After all, it took them years to acquire it. However, this type of bragging shows a lack of emotional intelligence. The older you get, the more humble you should become because you are realizing the more you know, the more you don’t. Show those around you that you respect their own situations. Which leads to the last step…
Step 4: Put your focus on serving others. As an older worker, you are expected to be wise enough to realize those around you need help and support. Instead of trying to network with people who can get you a job, focus on helping others get jobs. This puts you in a position of being what’s called a “super-connector” – someone who leverages their network for the benefit of others. It’s a form of paying-it-forward and it will help you in that you’ll have an ever-growing list of people who will want to help you back.
I know it’s scary out there right now! The competition is fierce and the deck is stacked against you. But running away from a challenge never solved any problem.
By acknowledging the increased challenges you face as a result of your age, you can focus on the above steps, and build a successful job search strategy.
The right strategy ensures that as an over 50 worker, you are seen as a valuable professional who is self-aware and understands what the market needs right now.
Use this framework to ensure you are sending the right message to your network and you will find getting a job to be a lot easier.
It’s Time For A Challenge
I recently touched on the importance of lifelong learning. This is particularly important for workers over 50. While you may have experience, you don’t want to be so set in your ways that you’re unwilling to adapt. Making an effort to learn new skills shows potential employees that you’re adaptable.
Now for my challenge…
If you’re over 50 and looking for work after a period of longtime employment, you’ve missed a lot of changes in the job search process. In the spirit of lifelong learning, I challenge you to take some time to learn about the modern job search process!
Don’t worry! I would never challenge you without providing you with some resources!
Work It Daily is hosting an online Job Search Summit that will cover everything that you need to know about the job search process. This all-day summit will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ET).
For just a 1-time $10 fee, you’ll receive access to:
– Exclusive trainings on perfecting your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile
– Discover the trick to successful networking (even during a pandemic)
– How to properly prepare for ANY job interview
I urge all my followers to share this post if they know anyone over 50 (or anyone really) that could benefit from the Job Search Summit.