How to find a job even at an advanced age?
Finding a job when you’re older brings insecurities. There is a tendency to think that companies may reject you because of your age. However, the online space offers more opportunities for older workers. Here are some tips for finding a job when you feel like you’re too old.
1. Learn digital skills
You can learn digital skills yourself to expand your job opportunities. These days, more and more companies need employees who can perform roles related to social media, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, web search, and more. Even traditional industries such as manufacturing, hospitality, and transportation depend on computers and the Internet.
Digital skills can be classified into two categories. Digital skills like coding or cybersecurity are what you need for tech jobs. But you also need digital skills in non-IT sectors.
Learn key tools such as Microsoft Office or Google Workspace to be competitive. You should also be familiar with online e-mail, video conferencing, and instant messaging applications. Do a little research and download these apps to get started.
2. Take an online course
If you’re the type to learn best with someone’s help, consider taking online courses. Learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, and edX help you learn and understand current trends in your industry. Most of these platforms are paid, but there are ways to get free online certificates and boost your professional skills.
Keep in mind some tips for choosing the right online courses to improve your skills. With so many options online, you may be overwhelmed. Review job descriptions and evaluate the skills needed for the position you want to fill. Then choose a course taught by a trusted teacher. You can also review the course outline and reviews to gauge the effectiveness of an online course.
3. Plan your professional goals with the ANPT professional skills verification plan.
The National Coalition on Aging (NCOA) website offers digital tools to support older workers so they can be successful in their careers. This includes the Age Well planner, where you can find articles and digital assessment tools. Under Workyou can access the Professional Skills Verification Plan, a free assessment to guide you to the next steps in your career.
The Job Skills CheckUp Plan asks simple questions about your career goals and your current situation. Once you’ve submitted your answers, the site will take you to your personalized plan. This plan contains a to-do list, which you can delete or mark as complete.
4. Find inclusive workplaces
Inclusive workplaces support and value every employee, regardless of age, gender, disability or any other difference. Global management consultancy McKinsey & Company emphasizes that diverse and inclusive businesses outperform the competition. However, he also found that not all companies embrace this culture.
There are several resources you can use to find a business that gives you a sense of belonging. Glassdoor brings you a list of the top companies for diversity and inclusion, based on employee reviews. You can also check out company awards, such as Forbes’ list of America’s Best Diversity Employers. You can also look for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) information on a company’s website.
5. Look for “age proof” jobs.
Although some companies are slow to get up to speed on integration, you can find jobs that don’t care about age. These jobs focus on skills regardless of your date of birth. You can work until you retire, as long as you are physically and mentally capable.
So what are the jobs that take age into account? Teaching is a profession where age does not matter and is an advantage. After teaching for a few years, you can even get tenure. Another option is freelancing, where clients value skills more than anything else. To start your freelancing journey, check out the best freelancing jobs and the websites where they can be found.
Don’t miss out on the job opportunities that social media can bring you. While social media can be distracting and feel inauthentic, it’s also a useful job search tool. You can apply for jobs on LinkedIn, create Facebook pages, join communities and groups, and participate in discussions to help you in your job search.
Optimize your social media profile to highlight your strengths. If you have skills, ideas, and experiences to share, spend time creating posts that provide value for your network. Choose the images and words you use carefully. How you project yourself online influences how potential employers view you.
7. Revise your CV
You don’t need to list all of your work experience. For example, you can deduct the few months you served as a student waiter if that wasn’t work-related. Submitting a resume with relevant skills and experience will demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job.
Also, be strategic by including dates in your resume. If you recently took a certification course to improve your skills, you’ll want to include a date to show it’s up to date. On the other hand, you are not obliged to mention the date of your diploma in your CV if you obtained it ten years ago. This way, you can avoid any discrimination based on age when looking for a job.
8. Apply for an internship as an adult
In the past, internships were only available to students. Fortunately, nowadays even adults can apply for internships. These opportunities are important if you are moving into a new career or after a long break. Internships help you get back on track and gain the skills you need to re-enter the job market.
Some companies offer adult internships to jump-start your career. Completing a ‘return placement’ does not guarantee full-time employment, but it is a valuable opportunity to learn and network professionally. Be sure to read the application requirements and deadlines to have a chance to get an internship.
9. Review the job description
Before applying for a job, check the job description carefully. Sometimes the reason you’re not hired is because you’re overqualified for the job. Find opportunities that match your experience and skills.
However, there are valid reasons to apply for junior positions, even if you are an older professional. For example, you may want a role with less responsibility or you may want to move into a new career. If so, state your reasons positively in your cover letter or during your job interview.
10. Consider taking on side jobs
While waiting for a response to your application, consider taking on a side job. Odd jobs can be lucrative opportunities that give you flexibility. A simple Internet search will allow you to find the best applications to earn extra money.
Some side jobs can be career opportunities. Side activities like taking online surveys or carpooling may not bring you steady income. But others, like selling on an e-commerce site, consulting, and teaching, have the potential to become a full-time career.
Use your age to your advantage when looking for a job
Your age should not be a handicap when looking for a job. Senior professionals have the ideal experience and maturity to take on higher roles. If you think you lack the skills, it’s never too late to learn. Employers will appreciate your adaptability and flexibility.
When you’re ready to start looking for jobs again, don’t forget to pay attention to your resume. Besides being strategic about the dates you include, you can also read other tips to make your resume stand out to recruiters. Your age does not give a complete picture of your abilities. But if done right, your resume can.