Too often, people believe those over 50 are doomed to have an especially hard time searching for a job. But many members and alumni of GetFive, some of them in their 50s, 60s and even 70s, have found that by embracing the 5-Step Method they were able to find a job.
At GetFive, we believe a person’s age may not be the reason for difficulty with searching. Of course, age discrimination exists, but so do all other kinds of discrimination, such as race, gender, education and more. For many older job hunters, though, success depends more on how they perceive themselves rather than on how other people see them.
For example, when Sheila, 64, lost her job of 22 years in operational systems, she felt no one would hire her again. However, she regularly attended the weekly strategic workshops. Encouraged by the group, she worked on her assessment exercises to identify her transferable skills, values and work experiences, and she decided she wanted to move from the for-profit to the nonprofit world. Sheila participated in private coaching sessions to develop her Two-Minute Pitch for her new target, and then she practiced it in the workshop.
After building her confidence, she started to develop and expand her networks.
Sheila learned of an opening for the position of Assistant Director of Lifelong Learning. It matched her skills and experience, but it was an entirely different job and industry from her previous position. To convince the hiring manager she was a good fit, she used the GetFive approach in her cover letter, working to compare their needs with her experience and skills. It worked, and she was hired.
By attending the workshops, following the 5-Step Method, and working with her coach regularly, she went from thinking she would never work again to landing the job of her dreams.
In addition to being proactive and maintaining a positive attitude, here are some strategies to keep in mind:
- Avoid reading negative media stories and stay away from negative people who remind you about your age
- Have a can-do attitude
- Regularly attend weekly strategy groups.
- Follow the 5-Step Method closely
- Target smaller companies
- Continually develop and expand your network
- Upgrade your skills continually
- Pay attention to your image! Look good by keeping your body in shape and dressing up
- Believe you can do it
- Keep a smile on your face and always display energy, enthusiasm and excitement when speaking about your skills