The Issues Facing Older Job Hunters

Working longer, past retirement age or indeed getting a new job and returning to work is now a matter of no choice for many older people. They simply have no option with the retirement age raised and the value of savings having fallen.One of the biggest issues older workers face is if they are not in a job they will be allowed to stay in, then where are they supposed to work? No matter how many equality laws are brought into being age discrimination in the world of employment is rife.I guess that one thing we do have to do as older job seekers and something which will help us to come across to employers as positive people who actually want to work is that we have to not feel bitter and angry about being in this place. Governments and regimes come and go and this is how it is, we have to work for longer and at least for a very long time nothing will change it.One of the first and best things to do to give ourselves a chance of being employable is to keep up to date with technology, both in our original field of work, learning and ability and others. This is important because it shows that we can keep up to date with developments in our field but also that you can change if necessary to do other things… make transferable skills… and that we are adaptable and can learn new things.An example of this is that even if I was fit enough now at 52 to still be a nursery nurse, there might still have come a time before too long when it was just not practical or sensible and possible for me to stay in that field of work… and yet I am at least by today’s pension rules, thirteen years off being able to get my pension. IT skills are one of the skills sets with the longest shelf life in an employee… as long as you stay up to date you can do it. However, with many jobs obviously the older we get the harder it becomes to do it.Sometimes an older employee looking for a job can perhaps even without knowing it come across a touch arrogant, with the attitude that they have lots of experience and a manager is lucky to have them. These days we have to remember that thousands are looking for work and many of the people applying for the job that we are applying for will be younger, with more current and recent experience. We have a big job itself on our hands to get through the application, selection and interview process and convince an employer who can pick from hundreds of applicants that we are the best person for the job.Of course many people are indeed in the dire situation financially where they will just have to take any job they are offered, but if possible it is better to not give the idea to an employer that this is the case, because it makes us look like we just want any job which will last until we can get our pensions and that we won’t really have any true enthusiasm for the job.Something which can seem very tempting and I should know because here I am trying to do it, is the idea of setting ourselves up in business and thinking that we will use the experience we have had in employment and that it is enough experience and knowledge to be able to work for ourselves. This might seem especially tempting with government schemes and grants’ encouraging older people to start up their own businesses… or rather to try to. As my website and blog develops I will be producing articles and information about starting a business, much of it of course coming from my progress or not as the case may be, and what resources I have found, used and found helpful or not. As I am indeed myself attempting to create the job for myself that nobody else will give me, I hardly feel able to warn others with the same hope and enthusiasm of the pitfalls. Let’s just say at this stage that I certainly do not expect it to be easy or to be a millionaire next year. It is going to be a long hard process indeed but a great achievement should it work out.One of the most important and beneficial things that we can do as older people looking for jobs or indeed trying to start up a venture is to ‘network, network, network because with age against us we need all the positive feedback from people who have been impressed with our skills, experience and attitude as we can possibly get. Stay in contact and make new contacts. Keep up to date and in touch with the world of work and employment, both in your area of ability and others and take up opportunities like courses and volunteer experience. Belong to clubs and societies for our interests and keep up hobbies. Job hunting is itself a job, but it is so helpful and beneficial to our CV’ and self-esteem and morale to have interests and things to do while waiting for a job opportunity to begin.

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