Looking for a job when you over 50 years old.

The motivation for the 50 plus person seeking a job may be different today from what it was some 10-20 years ago; as are many other statistics. If you are 50 and are in the market for a job, you are part of an elite and fast expanding market for senior positions. 'Elite' because most senior people are highly experienced and valued workers and 'expanding' because the market is waking up to recognize the wealth and wisdom of employing seniors.There are a few marketing techniques however to help you land the job you would savor and which would give you the returns that you deserve. As with everything else the technique(s) need to be mastered in order to get the best results.
  • Identify your exact reason for work: The most important aspect while seeking a job is to have your priorities worked out. Are you keeping a job for pleasure? For filling up your free time? For supplementing your income? For fulfilment? Or for paying back to the society?

    Pleasure ? when you seek a job for pleasure you will need to focus on what gives you pleasure and narrow your searching area to those industries or occupation(s) which fall into that purview.

    Keep busy ? here you can take up anything at all, as long as you are capable to do it; and at 50 there will be very few jobs that would really be tough for you to do ? giving you a wide searching area.

    Income ? this is the toughest avenue because when you look for pay, you will have to match your skills to the available vacancies and compete for the position with younger candidates.

    Fulfilment ? here you can do a lot of things for your own satisfaction in a honorary position or for a token remuneration; you will find plenty of organizations who would like to use your expertise and experience in exchange of a honorary title and token payment.

    Social service ? this is volunteer work and it is seen in the recent past that more and more people want to give back to the society by doing something worthwhile for the downtrodden and less privileged. There is tremendous satisfaction of work here, tough it is a bit less rewarding money wise.

    Identify your market: Depending on what you want to do you need to identify your market/ organizations/ industries so you can narrow down to the places where you can offer your candidature.

    Create an impressive CV: The gate pass to any job is your CV. When you are at 50 your CV will have to be dynamite or you will be rejected outright in favor of the younger candidates. Hence, you will need to draw the attention of the prospective employers away from your age and focus it to the quality package your long experience offers the company. Your CV should broadcast your expertise in the job at hand and your capability to deliver in terms of quality. Highlight clearly your achievements in the past so it is obvious from your CV itself how much the company gains from hiring a senior and experienced person like you.

    Network heavily: There is nothing more powerful than a good networking when you seek a job in your fifties. Your network not only would know your capabilities and expertise but also would know exactly where you could best fit next. Over the years this network, if groomed properly, would actually be your best reference point as well as source for your next job opening. All you have to do is to announce subtly that you are looking for an opening in whatever field you prefer. Offers will come to you within no time.

  • Be up-to-date with the present technology: Before you join the ranks of job seekers make it a point to be technology savvy. In today's world computer usage is part and parcel of a vast variety of occupations. Be sure you are comfortable with computers, emails, blue tooth, infrared, internet and other such features that today have become a part of our lives. If your job entails it, go through a crash course which will bring totally up-to-date in your field before drafting out your CV. Training courses are a great value addition to your experience because these show you as a person who keeps in tune with the changing times.
  • Compete fiercely: Your candidature will be compared to that of people half your age. In order to ensure that you come across as the best choice you will have to top all the qualities a younger person has to offer, i.e. enthusiasm, eagerness to work, stamina and humility. In other words, you will need to showcase your capability to outshine a fresher by highlighting the worthiness of your 20-25 years experience in the field. Hence, your CV should be clear and concise in matching the fit of the job requirement not only to your qualifications but also to your long standing experience and the knowledge you gained in the process.
  • Be presentable: A lot is gained or lost with first impressions. When you are seeking a job your looks is one of the most important criteria. People tend to think that a 50 plus person is old, haggard and needs constant attention. However, nothing can be further from truth. Today people in their 70s also are healthy and full of vitality. When you are applying for a job, appearing for interview or even enquiring around, make sure that you leave the right impression behind. Be full of life, well groomed, and project a healthy and full of stamina image. It is a fact that the 45-60 years of age is the golden age of man today because he is wise, moderate in taking risks, and highly experienced. Let this fact shine through your behavior and looks. An employer would be highly inclined to offer you a job if you look active, and healthy than if you look pale and weak. Remember the employer is out to get an asset for the company not a liability.
  • Enlist the help of a good placement agency: I said 'good' here because it takes special skills to 'sell' senior job seekers. Hence, you will need to seek out placement agencies who specialize in senior placement and check out which is the best. Keep in mind that job seeking is tough ? whether you are in your 20s or 50s it still gives butterflies in the stomach. However, it is more heartbreaking for an older person than it is for a younger one ? so be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster anyway but seek out the best placement agency available.
  • Become an entrepreneur: With your expertise and experience, many times the best solution is to go into business for yourself. Being a professional, bank loans would be available for you and you can very easily start a good business which in 10 years time would not only give satisfaction but also high economic results.
  • Become a consultant/ trainer: There is no lack of companies which need experts to conduct in-house training programs. A similar market is coming up in MBA colleges where they invite corporate veterans to take classes and teach the difference between theory and practice. It gives great satisfaction to teach and share your experience and expertise with others and many seniors find this occupation extremely rewarding both financially as well as professionally.