Career Success for Seniors

If you are 55 or older, you might be surprised to learn that your skills and abilities are a hot commodity in today’s job market.

Older workers will continue to be in demand however mature workers will be in competition not only with younger workers but also in competition with their peers. How can the older worker compete as well as get positioned for career success?

Consider contracting
If you can sell an employer on your services, chances are you might be able to sell your services on a contractual basis rather than as an employee. Many older workers want the freedom of working on their own terms while many employers feel relieved of providing the benefits or long-term commitment to employment that comes with hiring.

Update and upgrade skills
Face the facts. Most jobs are going to require some use of computers. Low cost or free computer lessons can be found at state-sponsored employment centers, community schools, or senior centers. Depending on the age requirements, you may qualify for free classes at local community colleges.

Research friendly employers
AARP has developed partnerships with major national employers to promote employment opportunities for older adults. Seek out these employers and be sure to let them know that you found them via the AARP website.

Try a new angle
How about working through a temp agency? Most temp agencies now offer long-term placements of several months to a year. You may even find an option to receive health benefits if that is a concern.

Promote your wisdom and skills
The mature worker need not feel “over-qualified” but instead can sprinkle words such as “proven ability” , “demonstrated track record”, “strong work ethic” and “experienced professional” into a resume that is both convincing and powerful.

Seek specialized placement services
Some programs are geared toward placing older individuals into employment situations to gain needed skills. Check with a local senior center, state run employment center, your local AARP chapter or council on aging to learn more.

Adopt current job hunting strategies
Don’t overlook the use of personal contacts, job fairs, Internet job postings and electronic resumes. Above all, be sure your resume reflects not only your years of employment but your depth of skills and knowledge. Employers are most concerned with what you can do and if you can do it well.

Don’t sell yourself short based out of fears that an employer will not hire you because of your age. Instead, let employers know you have the skills and experience needed to perform the job and to perform it well.

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