career, 50, new career, tips, advantages

Jump-Start Your Career When You’re Over 50

You're over 50 years old and haven't had to interview in years. Now what?

Originally Published Oct. 18, 2017

Your company has recently decided to reduce headcount and lay off people. Unfortunately, you are one of the employees whose names were selected, and this will be the first time in several years, maybe even decades, that you’ve been back on the job market. You’re over 50 and haven’t had an interview in years. Now what?

Stay Up-To-Date

This trend is happening more often than not. The best way to be prepared is to stay ready! What have you done throughout the years to keep up with trends and technology in your industry? Have you joined any professional organizations and expanded your network? Have you had your résumé professionally reviewed and updated? When did you last assess your wardrobe and update your image, including your haircut, hairstyle, makeup, and accessories? Have you considered part-time work, consulting, volunteering, or starting your own business? These simple actions can make re-entering the job market over 50 feel less intimidating and challenging.

The Advantage of Over-50 Applicants

Are companies constantly looking to hire younger and cheaper employees? Yes, and as more and more millennials, and now “Gen Zers,” emerge in the workforce, this will continue to be a preferred pool of applicants for organizations to select from. Depending on the industry, millennials may very well be the top choice for potential new hires. But there is still a sweet spot for applicants over 50. Millennials tend to change jobs quickly in their careers. On average, they may stay with a company for 18-36 months and then move on for new experiences, challenges, or promotions. Employee turnover can cost companies significant money yearly, both in hard and soft dollars (e.g., lost productivity and employee burnout).

During the interview process, experienced applicants must express their desire to find a home, stay with a company, and grow their career internally. Employer loyalty is still relevant, although less practiced now than in days of the past. This is where the over-50-year-old candidate has the advantage. Your years of experience and time spent with three or fewer employers throughout your career are truly beneficial; you must know how to sell it. The right future employer will appreciate your experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities and know you’re an asset to the company.

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