If you are a baby boomer and you have seen 50 come and go, very likely you think your chances of landing a really great job are very slim. And, there is no doubt that ageism is alive and ever present every where we turn. However, it may not be the perception of others that is preventing you from landing that great job, it might very well be your perception of yourself that is stopping you. This writer believes that it isn't your age that might be the problem, but your attitude.
If your are on the backside of 50 and feel that you can't compete with your younger counterparts and have nothing to offer, consider this:
- You have life skills gained over years of experience in dealing with people and different situations. You know and value the importance of managing emotions at work, and dealing with co-workers that are difficult.
- You have a skill-set refined over several years of experience.
- You have, more than likely, experienced many of the interruptions and mishaps that spring up in a workplace, and are more able to handle the situation than your counter-parts who have not experienced similar situations.
- You have the knowledge to mentor and teach your younger co-workers.
- Your are probably much more flexible and not neccessarily agressively seeking to climb the ladder of command, thus eliminating feelings of competition amongst younger counterparts.
But obviously knowing all this and having confidence in your ability to be an asset to an employer isn't enough. You also have to project an aura of not only confidence, but energy, enthusiasm and knowledge. And then of course, you need a resume that not only reflects your skills and experience, but one that is more tailored to your age group. Yes, a one-size (or age) "fits -all" resume is not the ticket.
This writer is not implying that it is easy for job seekers that are 50+ to run out and land the job they want, but is saying that it is not entirely impossible, either. Stop listening to all the negative media and believing all the statics (where do all the statics really come from, anyway?), and start believing in yourself. Research and find the resources you need to help guide you through the job-seeking process for your age group. Use local resources, as well as online resources.
Some Online resources that cater to older job seekers are:
- AARP jobs: http://jobs.aarp.org/
- Seniors for Hire: http://www.seniors4hire.org/
- Workforce 50: http://www.workforce50.com/
The information shared here today is reflected in a guidebook this writer read and recommends. "Land The Job You Love", by Mary Eileen Williams, M.A.,NCC., gives a positive approach to finding a job at 50+. The book is at Amazon.com, and has strategies specific to 50+ job seekers, as well as action steps that help you refine your resume and cover letter to reflect your skills & experience and not your age. Mary Eileen Williams was the guest caller on Three Wise Girls Blog Talk Radio recently, and the response to her advice as been extremely positive.
With all the skills and experience you have, and all the resources offered to you, the number one thing you have in your possession, is your attitude. Bask in the glow of years of experience and skills, and what you can bring to the job. That "glow" won't go unnoticed by your interviewer.