Over 50 and Looking for Work?

By Sara Parent

Older adults looking for work can often face challenges unique to their position.

According to Barry Witkin, CEO of Prime50 Employment Services, "Employers still think that they are dealing with a 50+ person that existed 50 years ago and not realizing that the 50+ person of today is younger looking, healthier, has longevity, and wants to continue their careers."

If you are over 50 and looking for work, here are some things you should keep in mind.

Showcase Your Technology Skills:

Don't give an employer a reason to buy into the myth that older workers aren't technology savvy. Focus on the tech skills you have. Showcase your abilities to use and learn new programs by drawing on your past experiences and your ability to learn new processes. If your skills aren't where they should be, update your computer skills and learn how to use the common technology tools of today. Computers and new technologies are part of the workplace, and whether you are young or old, you should be able to use them effectively.

Focus on Your Experience and Loyalty:

According to Witkin, older workers have a vast amount of experience and knowledge and could be great mentors to the younger employee. He adds they are loyal and will not leave a job as the younger generation is doing today after two years or so.

Stress your experience and your ability to hit the floor running. If you've worked for a company for a large number of years, focus on the positive changes you made, the skills you learned, and your loyalty.

Show employers that hiring you makes sense. Witkin says that older workers know how to deal with change and stress and won`t panic in crucial situations because they have all of these life/work experiences from the past to rely on.

Draw upon your life experiences to show potential employers how you've managed situations in the past, and how you can use those skills in the future to benefit the workplace.

Get Out There:

You have a world of experience that just can't be had in a classroom. Get out there and make use of your experiences. If you're motivated to continue your career, make sure you stress that to a potential employer. Show them that you are willing to learn new things and help others around you with your experience. With the aging population, demographics and the future are in your favor. According to Witkin, the future holds great things for the worker who is 50+. He foresees that employers "will recognize that all the perceptions they had about the 50+ workforce are all wrong. They will embrace them by recruiting them and retaining them and create policies to allow them to work under quite different conditions and terms than they would have not considered before."

Being an older adult looking for work can have its advantages. Make sure you showcase your work experience, loyalty, abilities, and your desire to work. You've got a lot to offer potential employers so make sure they know it.


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