Friday, May 23, 2008

The Late 50s Job Search Challenge Revisited

Yikes, as luck would have it, the day after my post about job search challenges for 50 somethings, a friend sent me a link to an article on called Out Of A Job And Out Of Luck At 54. It confirms my last post on the job search challenges us midlife women (and men) face as we hit our 50s.

This article paints a grim picture. Consider they say, among the unemployed age 55 to 64, nearly 42% had been fired or laid off, up from 32.2% a year ago, according to federal statistics for April. According to AARP, it took those age 55 and older an average of 21.1 weeks to land a new job in 2007, about five weeks longer than their younger counterparts, according to AARP.

We are apparently viewed as expensive hires, salary-wise and health cost-wise. Those finding jobs are taking lower pay, and many simply are told they are 'over-qualified'.

All this at a time when many of us need to be stashing money away in 401Ks and savings for retirement.

The other point of the article which speaks to the conclusion I came to after my lunch with Kate McLagan at Right Management, is that many of us have rusty job search and networking skills. We aren't knowledgeable about how to work with the online world of job searching and how to craft effective resumes and cover letters.

Getting help with these things is the best advice I can offer. Don't wait until you've been through weeks of searching to figure out your skills are rusty.

And, another helpful resource is a list AARP has published, Best Employers for Workers Over 50. They also have a list of 6 Tricky Interview Questions For Older Workers that addresses that 'over-qualified' gambit.

Awareness is the first step to being prepared. I'll be continuing to address this subject.


Martin Buckland said...

Some great and intriguing comments in this blog. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

I'm a Career Management Professional, the bulk of my clients are over 50. You are right, they need some education and direction on social networking, as well as an outstanding resume and enticing cover letters.

I can make anyone look seductive and highly competitive.

I'm more than happy to provide a free critique of your career

Allison said...

Thanks, Martin. Sounds like you have a better handle than most on the challenges here.

Given your experience, what do you think is the number one thing we need to do to keep from getting pinched?