You might think that once you hit 50 or even 60, you can’t get hired, but there are actually jobs out there that look for older workers. Opportunities don’t just exist in the latest Robert De Niro movie. Here’s how to find them.
1. Find Friendly Faces
Make new friends, but keep the old … in part because maintaining your social relationships can help you find work. A recent study found that older job seekers were unemployed longer partly because they have smaller networks. Build up your connections, and you might close the gap.
Being friendly in general can also help. If you find a retail location that tends to attract older customers, you’ll find an opportunity to get hired. Baby boomers who have good communication skills and who can connect with fellow boomers on the shop can find good opportunities. It may not be glamorous, but those Costco sample sellers are moving the chicken nuggets (and even the Nutella waffles, though you may want to have a good right hook).
2. Look for Specific Criteria
Barclay’s Bank operates an older workforce specifically to help them connect with older clients. Instead of having impatient whippersnappers asking customers if they’ve turned their computers off and on again, these trained older workers can actually relate with the people on the other end of the landlines.
There are also companies that are lauded for their eagerness to hire workers over the age of 50. Until 2013, AARP maintained a best-of list that included major universities, healthcare companies and hospitals, and banks, among other employers.
3. Get Flexible (With Your Schedule)
Maybe you’re not looking for full-time work and could do with some night or weekend distractions that younger workers might want to do without. Think about museums that need docents for weekend crowds, or maybe transportation hubs (airports, train stations) that could use extra people on the floor with a friendly face.
You could also look for a self-employed role as a consultant for hire. It’s cheaper for the company, but offers you a foot in the door, some new opportunities, and a new line on your already long resume.
4. Showcase Your Talents
When you’re applying for a job, be sure to be clear about all the experience you’re bringing to the table. Not only are you one person with a lifetime of knowledge, you’re also your personal network of similarly accomplished people. You’re a communicator (old school), a professional, and a hard worker. Be sure to talk about what you can commit to the company and reassure them you’re not in for rounding out the clock to retirement. Offer to mentor other workers, and you might be an HR manager’s dream come true.
5. Brush Up on Some New Tricks
It might take more than just old school know-how to fit in a new office or workplace. Try to connect with employees at a potential new gig and read up on the latest news in the industry. Yes, this might mean asking a young person for advice or help with “the Twitters” but look at it this way, you’ll just be extending your personal network that much further.
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