In spite of Age Discrimination legislation the jobs market can still feel like it tends to focus on young people between the ages of 18 and 25. Yet the over 55s represent about 30% of the UK and EU population and employers can benefit from employing people of all ages, particularly as it has been recognised that the over 55s have much to offer.
Attributes of older workers can benefit all kinds of employers operating in different market sectors. Employers need to hire people from across the working age ranges, helping them to prosper from a variety of competencies.
We’ve compiled the following tips which could help you change your life for the better. Your first step starts here by reading this blog!
1. Create a career and personal Audit
Think about the career path you’ve followed to date, the jobs you did to get there, and what you can offer an employer that your younger counterparts can’t. Your knowledge, experience and competencies, as well as your personal attitude to work might be just what an employer is looking for. It is a plus that older workers are more likely to be satisfied with their work than their younger counterparts, as well as remaining loyal to their employer.
A personal audit might also allow you to consider how you can apply your hobbies, turning them into something you can sell as a self-employed person or to an employer. Utilising skills you enjoy using is more likely to see you getting greater job satisfaction than a job which is purely to pay the bills.
2. Never give in
You can achieve whatever you want, but there may be a few knocks along the way. Ahmad from Oldham recently told BBC Panorama that it took 1,000 applications before he gained a new job, but his determination to succeed and flexibility finally allowed him to find what he wanted.
3. Research the jobs market
Research the market for the kinds of jobs that fit your personal and career profile by using social networks, newspapers, magazines and other sources. Focus on finding employers that openly value the contribution of the over 55s, and be willing to retrain or take a cut in salary in order to get your foot firmly back on your career ladder. However, while you should be flexible it’s also important to protect yourself from being exploited on the account of your age.
4. Ask for Advice
If you need moral support or advice, it can be a good idea to speak to an organisation that provides you with guidance about job-hunting strategies for older people, as well as inform you of your rights in law. They might even be able to provide you with access to various useful resources that could assist you in your pursuit of new employment. You may also wish to discuss available opportunities and retraining, to start down a new or different career path.
5. Customise your CVs and cover letters
Our research shows that you will gain more job interviews by customising your CVs and cover letters to each application.
Set yourself goals and objectives, reviewing what you have achieved while taking note of things that haven’t quite happened. Don’t be afraid of failure as that can often be how we learn, though do remain open to feedback and self-analysis or constructive criticism from others in order to create a job-winning strategy.
We also recommend that you read other informative articles on Jobsite, which usually apply to people in all age groups.
Additional reading links:
Business Link: Age Positive Campaign – This is targeting employers, but it can still provide a useful insight into the legal obligations that employers must respect and adhere to.
Department of Work and Pensions – Although focused on making employers aware of their legal obligations and why “Age isn’t an issue”, this is a useful document to read. It will allow you to find out about the options available to you as an older worker, while giving you the legal knowledge to stand up for your rights.
Job Centre Plus (Directgov) – Information about the Age Discrimination Act, which came into force in October 2006.