Even though the Age and Discrimination in Employment Act was passed back in 1967, many workers over the age of 40 still face bias in the workplace – especially if they are competing against a wide pool of qualified candidates in today’s job market. With fewer opportunities to retire earlier, the reality is that most people in the United States are expected to work past the age of 65, making this stigma around older workers even more unfounded.
So what do you do to combat this kind of stigma? With more than 100 applicants applying for a single job posting, what can you do to set yourself apart, while also utilizing the skills and experience you have to succeed in the role? Here are 5 easy tips:
With age comes experience, so you should never be afraid to highlight the skills you’ve developed over the years and what kind of value they’ll bring to the company. Remember, while age may be just a number, it’s an asset that can help any company become more diverse — which, in 2022 and beyond, is a primary focus amongst many U.S.-based employers. In fact, certain industries such as production assembly are moving toward hiring older workers due to their professionalism and attention to detail.
Another way you can embrace your age, however, is by looking at careers that would benefit from the experience of an older employee. Career fields such as healthcare and counseling often benefit from hiring older employees due to their level of maturity and experience the position needs to succeed. By sorting out careers that are better suited for higher experience levels, you’re giving yourself a leg up on the competition.
Today, everyone is a brand, And, the first part of identifying your brand is understanding what you want out of your next job opportunity and what you bring to the table. Brand identities aren’t exclusively for big-box chains or celebrities. In simple terms, a brand identity is the way you present yourself. It’s the way you dress, the way you speak, and the choices you make to meet your weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.
The easiest way to market yourself is to set an objective: what is your end goal, what steps did you take to get there, and what are you doing now to make it happen? Once you determine your end goal, where you’ve been, and where you’re headed, you’ll be better equipped to share that with your prospective employer. In other words, identifying who you are (or your brand) makes it easier for your interviewer to get to know you and what kind of asset you’ll be to the company. Remember, no one can know you if you don’t know you.
Nobody likes change, but unfortunately, when you’re a part of the workforce, adapting to change is inevitable. Just look at the COVID-19 pandemic. Two and a half years ago, the idea of working remotely didn’t even spring to mind for most people, but now over 60% of workers want to continue, regardless of whether or not their company is operating as normal. Even if employees didn’t want to, they had no choice but to re-adapt to a new work environment that often included daily video calls and new team organizational software.
This example brings us to our next point, which is the fact that many employers are afraid of hiring older candidates for fear that they aren’t willing to adapt to new technologies or younger supervisors. Prove them wrong. Most companies today have their finger to the pulse of what’s trending – and social media plays a huge part in that. Conduct research on these social media apps, keep an open mind and don’t be intimidated by any new technology that is designed to help and grow the business.
Maybe you spent the first 20 years of your career doing something simply because it paid the bills. If you’re re-entering the workforce after 50, now’s the time to pursue something you’re passionate about. At the end of the day, anyone can be taught how to work a particular program, but you can’t teach someone to be a self-starter or have motivation for the task at hand.
Employees who find passion in their work create a positive feedback loop, as they’re usually willing to go the extra mile. This, in turn, makes your boss happy and promotes company loyalty. Another benefit? You’ll just be happier spending time doing something you genuinely enjoy, and when it comes to your career, that’s ultimately the goal.
LinkedIn is quickly becoming the most influential social media app in 2022 and it’s no surprise why: it puts you right in front of the right people at the right time. In fact, over 90% of all Fortune 500 companies are using LinkedIn as part of their recruitment efforts. As of publication, 37% of users are between the ages of 30-49 years old, but this number is expected to grow as the year goes on.
Aside from getting you in front of the right people, LinkedIn allows you the opportunity to network with other people in your field or with whom you share their hobbies. It also allows you to create and showcase a digital resume that can provide a detailed snapshot of your skills, experience, and endorsements from former co-workers, supervisors, and mentors.
Reentering the workforce after 50 can be intimidating, but by embracing your own strengths, you can set yourself apart from the competition, regardless of what position or industry you’re applying for.