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Finding the Right Job After 40 – How to Stay Current

In today’s economic environment, it seems like every unemployed age group is struggling for a job. While younger people certainly have their legitimate gripes with their lack of experience, older workers over 40 are finding that their years of job experience can be a yellow flag to some employers.

All official job forecasts for the immediate future indicate that a 10% unemployment rate will be with us for quite a while. There are simply not as many jobs in the U.S. as there used to be. While we can argue about why that is, it doesn’t help the over 40 person who’s looking for employment right now.

The fact is, the country is in a time of great transition from the traditional manufacturing society, to one that is increasingly automated and “do-it-yourself” oriented. This means that there’s less jobs which require human minds and bodies to manually do things.

Many service jobs have been shipped overseas and will never return. If you’re over 40, you may have started your work career in either a service or manufacturing job which no longer exists, or is really hard to find these days.

In this current economic environment, large employers are shedding workers and small employers are struggling to find money to expand and hire more workers. This all makes finding a job for people over 40 even harder.

Yet, giving up should never be an option. If you’re savvy and persistent, you can greatly increase your odds of landing a good position. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

What Are You Really Interested In Doing?

This is a really good question to ask yourself at this stage in your working life. By this time, you’ve spent many years doing specific job tasks. Now’s the time to figure out if you want to do the same type of work, or, is there something else you’d really like to do, but just never went for it?

If you’re interested in going in a new direction, find out what kind of skills and training you’ll need to have for that type of job. Because you’re unemployed, you have an opportunity to do some job training. There are websites that offer free and paid training. Or, visit your local job training center.

Your willingness to learn new things and to get training shows that you can easily adopt to a new type of position.

Get into Networking 2.0

If you’re not already on a social networking site, go ahead and open up an account and create your own space. Many positions these days aren’t found by traditional means, but by meeting people through social networking. If you’re clueless about how to sign up with one, there are several good books and websites that can walk you through the process.

This is no longer optional. Having a social networking page or a blog of your own, shows a potential employer that you’re keeping up to date with the latest technological trends. Plus, it’s a great way to meet people like yourself who are going through this tough unemployment phase.

Revitalize Your Look

Put on your interview clothes and take a look in the mirror and really scrutinize yourself. This is what a potential employer will see when you walk in the door looking to be hired.

You’re already at a disadvantage because you’re not an eager 20-something. So, what can you do to instantly convey that you’re just as eager to get to work as your younger counterpart?

A quick way is to overhaul your professional look. And, let me just say right now that people DO judge a book by it’s cover – even if we learn we’re not supposed to do that. An employer may take one look at you and see an “older” person, therefore triggering an instant bias.

Giving yourself a mini makeover will make you feel good, while appearing more youthful at the same time. So, if you’ve been wearing the same old, style of haircut forever, go to the salon and get something that looks fabulous on you. If you’ve got a little gray, consider getting your hair color treated. Remember, in this tough environment you need every little advantage you can get.

Buy a new interview outfit and make sure it’s tailored to fit properly. Get your teeth whitened and learn to walk with your shoulders up straight. Practice smiling in the mirror and greeting your interviewer. First impressions are everything.

These are small changes that can make a big difference in how you’re perceived before you even say one word.

By Brenda Ballentine who says get a college degree from home and boost your chances of landing a great job! Earn an AA, BA, BS or Masters degree at your own pace. More information here: http://www.degrees-at-home.com

BoomersNextStep Guest Author

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