7 tips for finding a new job in your 50s

  • Put ageism aside
  • Spring clean your CV
  • Network, network, network…
  • Ignore the worries of fresh young face
  • Consider new career options and self-employment
  • Flexibility is King
  • Get social media savvy

Whether you are nearing retirement age and thinking about the future, or have finished work and are missing it badly, the great news is that there is definitely a good selection of jobs available to you. Perhaps a part-time job or one with flexible hours will suit you better? It is well worth having a thorough search of what is available and to apply for several jobs before you make a decision, as you need to find the job that suits you best.

In the past, jobs for older people were difficult to come by and were often dull and menial. Today, the openings for older people are almost as numerous as for younger people and employers are recognising that older people bring experience, reliability and good work ethics into the workplace. There is no need to skirt around your date of birth – be proud of it!

Before you start your job search, it is well worth updating your CV. The chances are that you have not needed it for a number of years, so it could definitely do with a spring clean and revamp! There are a number of websites that can help you with this task. Preparation work will include bringing your CV right up to date and deleting any non-essential information. The websites provide examples of how your CV can be both succinct and to the point and contain all the relevant details.

One consideration for the future is the chance of remaining in your current job. If you would prefer to work fewer hours this could be worth discussing with your boss. If you are planning to continue in your profession, but with a different company, maybe it is worth taking any available courses to broaden your skill set and increase your chances of employment. Think BIG with your choice of job as there is absolutely no reason that you should settle for a more menial job just because of the age factor. Conversely, it is a great selling point that you are older, with plenty of experience!

There could well be the opportunity for you to become a consultant in your field, using your expertise to guide others. Consultancy roles can be found in many areas of business and will certainly be a great way for you to utilise the knowledge that you have gained over the years. If you know that you are lacking knowledge in one particular area, it could well be worth taking a course in that subject, either at your local college or online.

There are many managerial openings for older people as this is definitely a position where experience counts! Your job will probably be to oversee the day to day running of a department or shop. If that appeals, you will definitely need a sound knowledge of the business/service and if it is in the retail sector you will need a proven track record too.

One area of work that has traditionally been popular with older people – and still is – as it is rewarding, is care work. Helping vulnerable people of all ages is challenging but very fulfilling. People of all ages become vulnerable through illness or disability and need help with day to day tasks and much more because good emotional support can really make the difference, boosting their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. If you feel that you are a ‘people person’ and could have real empathy with vulnerable people, then a telephone call to your local centre or one of the charities will be much appreciated and you will soon be ‘pointed in the right direction’. Likewise, local hospitals often employ older people as clinical receptionists and in a number of other roles. If you have been a teacher, your local school could well have part time teaching vacancies or a need for classroom assistants.

If you feel that freelance work would suit you better, it is worth exploring opportunities for you to offer your professional services to different businesses and industries. The work is very varied; some of it will be a ‘one off’ job, others will offer short-term employment for a particular project or longer term part-time work, for a few hours each week/month. There are openings for copy writers, designers, accountants and book keepers – amongst others – and many of these can be assessed online with the chance to work remotely from the comfort of your home – www.upwork.com is a good website to start with. Freelance work can be very rewarding, but it requires self-motivation and self-discipline for it to be successful. Before applying for any jobs, you will need to prepare samples of your work to send potential employers.

Certainly, there are many jobs available where your training and skills would benefit the company or organisation tremendously. Don’t let others stereotype you and dampen your enthusiasm with jokes about your age. If you feel passionate about a particular job, then go for it. The job could well have a silver lining – in more ways than one!

Job sites:
Jobsite.co.uk – How to make a career change at 50?

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