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Tips to Combat Ageism and Land a Job in Your 50sCreated by Verity in Retirement and pensions
Ageism is fact, and for evidence we need look no further than the latest employment statistics. While youth unemployment gets talked about most in the media, it’s actually the over 50s who are the hardest-hit group when it comes to ‘long-term unemployment,’ or those out of work for a year or more.
However, just because you’ve found yourself in your 50s and out of work doesn’t mean you’ve reached your ‘expiration date’ or should be looking to retire early.
Early retirement is wonderful if you can afford it, but for most of us, our 50s are a crucial decade to build up retirement savings. Pensions and ISAs, offered by providers like Shepherd’s Friendly, can suffer greatly if we’re out of work a decade or more before the traditional retirement age of 65. We’ll look at some tips to keep in mind when interviewing to help you land a job and keep from being another statistic.
1. Social media matters
Though it may seem like the answer to everything these days is ‘social media,’ it really can help to have a social media presence when looking for a job in your 50s. Of course, a lot depends on the job that you’re seeking, but people often think of the older crowd as tech-allergic, and anything you can do to combat the stereotype will ramp up your chances of being hired. Getting a LinkedIn profile is a good way to make professional connections, but also it can also be a way for your employer to check your credentials while showing that you embrace the new digital world we live in.
2. Discuss prior experience with younger workers
Another ageist notion – often held unconsciously – is that older workers can’t or won’t like to take orders from younger bosses, or work with younger staff. It can be useful to volunteer information about how you mentored younger workers at your previous job, and were able to learn from them yourself. Give examples of your success as a team player, working with all ages and backgrounds, and you’ll do a lot to combat prejudices that employers may not even know they have.
3. Show you’re anything but stubborn
Much like you should show that you’re willing to adapt to new technologies and techniques, emphasise to your employer that you’re willing to try out new ideas and implement new solutions. Ageist thinking sees over 50s as ‘stuck in their ways,’ so show your employer that you’re adaptable, curious, and always flexible.
4. Employers look for healthy workers
If you’ve ever been on the other side of the interviewing table, you know that a key concern is whether or not your potential employee is going to take too much sick leave. While it’s not strictly legal, employers may pass over a great potential employee simply because they’re afraid that they have an age-related condition, or will develop one. Plus, getting in shape can help you give off an air of confidence and energy that employers look for. If asked about your hobbies, highlight interests that show an active lifestyle: jogging, nature hikes, salsa dancing all paint a picture of you as an active person who can hit the ground running at your new job.