Millennials aren’t the only growing sector of the workforce. According to the AARP, Americans are remaining in the workforce longer. The US unemployment rate is just over four percent, but among Americans of age 55 and above the rate is only 3.2%. If you plan to keep working, you aren’t alone. Instead of retiring at age 55, most Americans retire at an average age of 62.
If cutbacks or a desire to change careers have you looking for work, the search can be intimidating. Despite labor laws preventing discrimination, myths persist about mature workers being rejected because of age, health-concerns or overqualification.
You may be concerned about wages and benefits if you take a new job. Most people over the age of 45 consider changing career, but only six percent do it. Eighty-two percent of those who switch jobs after age 45 do so successfully.
Why Keep Working?
It turns out there are a number of reasons. You want to change paths to learn something new. You have to keep working to earn enough income. You thrive on the routine and social connection work provides. Finally, you want to follow your passion and find your life’s purpose.
As an experienced worker, you have collected valuable job skills and experiences over the years. Most older workers have a strong work ethic and great leadership skills. Younger laborers could benefit from your knowledge while teaching others can be very rewarding for you.
You may be looking for a new job for your own reasons, but many older workers are seeking jobs which give them purpose, value and meaning. A mentally engaging and challenging job will be much more enjoyable than a repetitive one. If you are looking for a schedule you can have some control over, discuss it in the interview. The best job is doing something you enjoy where you feel valued. Review our advice below to overcome your fears of seeking a new job.
How to Make a Career Change Later in Life
- Identify your skills – assess your abilities and certifications, then make a list. Providing this information to a potential employer will help them get to know you better and what you are capable of.
- Bridge the age gap – reach out to younger coworkers or family members to help you with new technology and job developments. Creating friendships with other generations will keep you young.
- Use social media – create or update profiles on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and CareerBuilder to find open jobs and new fields of opportunity.
- Be flexible – being able to adapt your schedule to fit the needs of the employer will make you more hireable.
- Keep learning – when you stop learning, you stop growing. Take online courses, skilled trades classes, college courses and other training to update skills and add new ones.
- How to get hired:
- Determine what you want from a job.
- Find similarities between yourself and your employer.
- Be flexible with your salary and schedule.
- Determine what you need and be clear.
- Rebrand yourself by focusing on your skills and experience.
- Get involved in networking.
- Finalize your plan.
- A list of contacts
- Records of who you contacted
- Resume, references, certifications and other documents
- Dates for job fairs, networking events and other functions
- Dates for training, workshops and seminars
- Craft your interview speech.
- Be energetic and confident.
- Surround yourself with positivity while you search.
- Keep track of your progress.
- Keep going until you get the job.
Although job searching has changed over the years, the need for your experience has grown. Skilled trades workers are in high demand and there are several rewarding and engaging opportunities for you. Don’t be afraid to explore your options for additional skills training and job opportunities. You offer experience and are a great role model for those around you. You deserve a great job!