It’s widely known that the experience of job seeking can be very different for those in the later stage of their career. John* is a friend of ImproveMe who is aged in his fifties and is currently job hunting. We asked him to share his key observations with us.
For those finding themselves over 50 and looking for opportunities there are several key factors to consider as careers paths in this stage of life will be different.
If you have been employed for single organisation for a long time – say over 25 years – you need to understand that these days potential employers look at tenure and “company” loyalty differently to what they did decades ago. This means some self development may be required to differentiate in the marketplace – to move away from the “one trick pony” perception that comes with being in one organisation for so long. You may find online courses from local and International learning institutions are available to enhance your skill set already achieved as an example.
If you are looking outside your initial industry of expertise, then understand how to position your experiences and achievements you have gained, so as to be seen as a value add for solutions to issues other organisations face. This may open up consulting avenues and the lifestyle changes that go with it. In this situation, a good 12 month budget needs to be considered as you may be moving from a mindset of guaranteed monthly wage to being paid for specific jobs.
If you are undertaking your job search utilising existing networks, you may need to consider expanding to recruiters – but make sure you find those that have experience in the industry you are considering. A lot of recruiters employ careers advisers that do not have the understanding to look beyond the CV and are reluctant to offer a candidate over 50 to their clients as it “falls outside the scope” of their assignment.
There are opportunities if you put yourself out there but it certainly means you will need to be flexible with your expectations as organisations and industries place different value on experience and what financial worth to apply to this segment of the employment market.
* Name has been changed to protect our contributor’s anonymity in his job search. Image used is not of our contributor. Our contributor has extensive local and international experience within prestigious global organisations such as Ford and Caterpillar. If you would like to be put in touch with him, please contact ImproveMe.