Here are 10 top tips for finding a job if you are over 40. I encourage you to read them all because any one of them could make the difference for you. As a qualified leadership trainer I am very conscious that breakthrough ideas may come either from what you read, or they may just come as a flash of inspiration triggered by something in your unconscious mind as a result of reading. In other words, this is a process that stimulates creative thinking and forces you to consider new ideas. I hope you find it useful.
Here are the Top 10 Tips:
There has been a trend in recent years for employers to seek out increasingly specialised skills in their recruitment process. Think about what your specialist strengths are and how you could help an organisation by applying them. Then seek out opportunities that require these specialist skills. Although there may be a smaller number of jobs in your particular specialism, your chances of securing one of them are much better. So for example, if your skills lie in sales, think about what industry sectors or geographies you might have built experience in. Which other companies need to sell into those customers?
2. Broaden your search
It may be necessary to look outside of your immediate geographic or industry area in order to find the right job. By broadening your search you expose yourself to the opportunity of finding something that you would otherwise have missed. This may give you a difficult decision to make but at least it will be your decision which is always better than not having a decision at all.
3. Register with agencies
It may sound too obvious to mention but it is important to register with a reasonable number of appropriate recruitment agents. The opportunity to use the internet to do this makes life a lot simpler. It does however remove the human element and you do run the risk of just becoming a statistic if you don’t insist on a face to face meeting or at least a telephone conversation. Furthermore there are some agencies that specialise either directly or indirectly on more mature or experienced workers. Search out this type of agent in your area and make friend with them!
4. Dedicate a specific amount of time to job searching
With plenty of time on your hands it is easy to function without urgency. Treat your job search as if it was your job. Start at a particular time, form a to-do list of activities you need to complete during the day, schedule your own coffee and lunch breaks and decide how many hours per day you wish to spend on it. This is important to enable you to make structured progress but it is also important because it should allow you to switch off when you have achieved your objectives or tasks for the day. I cannot stress how important it is to switch off and don’t forget to celebrate your successes or progress each day.
Use your spare time to keep in shape. We have all heard the saying that a fit body = a fit mind. By doing exercise and getting the oxygen flowing around in your body you will make yourself far more productive on a day to day basis. You will also feel good and present yourself better when you meet people.
6. Do something for the community
Most working people are so busy with work that they never have time to get involved with local activities. Why not use your temporary spare time to support a local charity or help to organise local events in the community. You will be amazed at who else you might meet in these “unusual” places. I know CEOs who help out at the local boy scouts or girl guide associations
7. Consider part time work
There are numerous part time job opportunities that you may be able to use to bring in some short term income. Many of these may expose you to new people, new industries, with the potential of turning into a permanent job or business opportunity. it is worth registering with at least one agency that specialises in part time work. I know people that do any of the following part time: HR, finance, sales, IT support, training, restaurant and bar work, community work, charity work.
8. Take a sales job
For many people who have never sold, this may seem like a fate worse than death. But rest assured that many sales people are among the top earning employees in most organisations. If you have never sold before, you will possess knowledge and experience that is valuable to another company. They are often prepared to provide you with some selling skills training and are also willing to pay you handsomely for your contribution (albeit partly commission based). If you are nervous about this type of move, try to negotiate a bigger basic salary and other perks such as travel, car, phone, pension and laptop.
9. Networking sites
Most people now have some experience of social networking through Facebook, Linked-In and many more. They provide a great way to cost effectively build a community of connected people. Although I resisted for a long time, I specifically selected LinkedIn because it seemed to be more business orientated than Facebook. I now have hundred of people that I can communicate with on a regular basis and it automatically updates me on their movements.
Some people are horrified by the idea of retraining after the age of
40. But this may not be as ridiculous as it may sound. Many mature people have become web designers or developed some other specialism as a result of retraining and many have gone on to become very successful as a result. The beauty or retraining in the modern world is that it has become much cheaper and much easier than ever before, particularly with the advent of the internet. With the pace of change and the emergence of new technology, it is possible to become a leading expert in almost anything in just a matter of months. Just imagine how much free information is available on the web on any subject you can imagine. Did you know that if you were to read the top 20 articles or 5 books on almost any new subject you would probably be in the top 1% in terms of your knowledge expertise? Why not pick a subject and just go for it!
Joe Nathan has been training management and leadership skills for 10 years. As a result of recent recessionary times he now spends much of his spare time helping people over 40 to get back into work. You can read more tips and advice on jobs for over 40s at http://jobsforover40s.info/about/