No Job is Forever, What You Can Do to Keep Ahead
Even if you think you have a solid job, no job is forever! There are countless accounts of people who have been on the job with the same employer for years or who have been under the impression that they are a valued employee who’s irreplaceable, but as fast as a lightning bolt they’ve been forced out or faced a layoff. Unfortunately, many of these same people are ill-prepared for what’s next.
The loss of a job can be a particularly hard time for Baby Boomers. This is the generation of workers who have several more years to go before they reach their official retirement age or who are already of retirement age, but who need the income.
Age discrimination is real and statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor have shown that it takes older workers on average more time to find a new job than for younger workers.
Some of the top challenges facing Baby Boomer who are seeking a new job after a force-out or layoff include:
Lack of updated skills.
Many professionals who are close to retirement age are discriminated against because of the assumption that they lack the updated skills that a younger worker may have.
Higher salary requirement.
A common issue employers have with hiring older and more experienced workers include the need to pay a higher salary when they can hire a younger worker with less experience at a lower salary.
Too close to retirement.
Employers are concerned about investing in workers who are on the path to retirement. “Why invest in someone who’s going to leave the job in the near future?”
Clearly, it’s an uphill battle for the Baby Boomer generation but there are things that can be done right now to help make a faster rebound if you need to restart the job hunt process.
- Be Resume Ready
While a lot has changed when it comes to job hunting, the resume still stands as a key tool to help get your foot in the door. Make sure it’s updated with current information as well as your recent accomplishments. The resume should also be optimized for applicant tracking software. Seek professional help, especially if you have an older resume that hasn’t been touched for several years.
- Keep Up-to-Date on Skills
To remain marketable, you want to be up-to-date on the latest skills for your profession. It’s easy to settle into a comfort zone when at a job that feels secure, but no job is forever and it’s not going to help when you need to get back on the market to find a new job. Updated skills can also show your existing employer the additional value you bring to the table.
- Maximize Experiences
Life offers various paths you can take. This is true for your professional career path as well. Just because you’ve been down a certain career path doesn’t mean it’s the path for you forever. Many professionals go through a career change during their professional journey. By maximizing your experiences, it helps forge the way to other career paths should it be difficult to rebound to a similar career you were forced out of or laid off from. Consider volunteer experiences to help you dive into a new space that you’re passionate about and have interest in.
- Maintain an Active Network
Many will tell you that job hunting today is not the same as it was several years ago. It’s unrealistic to think that you can just hop on a job board, apply to a job with your resume, and then expect a call to invite you in for an interview. While there are some job seekers who are fortunate to get a response back under that approach, many job seekers are finding more success simply using their online network.Use your network of contacts to get yourself out there and to meet the right people. Build discussions from these networking opportunities to help get your foot in the door. Having a presence on key online networking job sites like LinkedIn is critical. For help with customizing the LinkedIn profile for job searching, click here.
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