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Job Searching in Your 50's

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ElJay370, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been working at the same place for the past 18 years, and it's beyond time to move on. I'm concerned that my lack of work history and my age (which isn't supposed to matter..but let's not kid ourselves) will both be stumbling blocks.

    Any tips?
     
    Chiogtr4x and uriah1 like this.
  2. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

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    If you have a particular skill set that is in demand, loyalty to your old company and age won’t matter. In my industry, they are trying to keep guys into their 70’s because young people interested in the field are getting harder to come by.

    If anything, your history at your employer is a plus... In 18 years, they’ve never had to fire you.
     
    Phildog and String Tree like this.
  3. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    Keep your current job until you find another to replace it. If you're unemployed, you automatically go to the back of the line for new positions, and you stay there. The longer you're there, the worse it becomes.

    You don't say what industry you're in, but in my line of work (writing/editing in the entertainment industry), old-school job hunting methods like sending out resumes and responding to job listings are almost useless. It's all about networking and leveraging your ties to other people to find openings and get referrals from inside the company where you want to get hired.
     
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  4. Chester P Squier

    Chester P Squier Tele-Meister

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    At age 55 I went back to school to reinvent myself. Got a degree two years later and got a job in a new profession, where I worked for 11 years.

    Just before graduating, I disguised myself as a younger man with a product not recommended for women or children. And got hired a month later. I kept using the stuff for 6 years.

    Good luck and best wishes for your future.
     
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  5. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    At 55, after 10 years at one of the biggest software firms and a long career in both hardware and software, I left that company. It took me 4 months to find a new job which lasted another 5 years with a small software services company of which I knew nothing but learned quickly. Then I worked 6.5 years at the final company a very large software services company before I retired. This last was the second best job I ever experienced. Retired at 67. Companies have reached out to see if I would be interested in working again. Not at this time. Age is meaningless unless you are modeling or trying to be a rock star.

    One of my good friends got his Masters in Data Science recently at age 62. He is still working.

    Limits are what we place on ourselves no one else cares or is watching. Passion and energy always win the day.
     
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  6. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    my experience has told me...if they arent desperate i dont get a job offer

    too bad the desperate ones lacked some things i want in a job so i turn them down...im stuck at a job i dont like but the company is great...im still looking
     
  7. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Neither is a stumbling block if you’re the right man for the job. Take an inventory of your skills and knowledge and start to fill in the gaps. Don’t be afraid to talk about how you’ve been doing that in an interview. Initiative is more important than age or history.
     
  8. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    there are certainly lots of companies who will age-discriminate.
    what you need to do is find one that rather appreciates and awards experience.

    I am very fortunate to have managed to do just that, this last go-round

    best of luck
     
    The Angle likes this.
  9. Ivorytooth

    Ivorytooth Tele-Meister

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    I got laid off after 30 years at the same company. I am 57. It has been challenging, but I am patient and the right one will come along.

    The age thing is real, but with the right employer, it won't matter.

    Personally, if I was you, I wouldn't leave a job until you have another lined up. It is tough out there.

    Get your Linkedin set up and your resume up to date and current format styles and start looking while you are working.
     
    SRHmusic and ozcal like this.
  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    It depends a lot on your particular field and level of expertise. But, keep in mind that most old school methods don't work anymore.

    For example, most job openings will be listed online. You will need to learn how to effectively search general job listing sites like Monster, Indeed and LinkedIn. You will also need to scout out career path specific job listing sites.

    Most companies will want a resume sent by email in a specific format, not faxed or snail mailed. That way it can be fed into a document reader algorithm and reduced down to a keyword search. If your resume doesn't have the right combination of target keywords, a human will never see it. You have to become good at picking out the right words and keep it tightly focused on them. Then, if that step passes, a HR person, who may be an outsourced consultant, glances at the resume and makes a judgement on if it, or an abbreviated version, gets passed to the hiring manager. It is very difficult to dodge this step unless you have contacts to avoid the HR screen.

    As for contacts, hopefully you have some in your industry and haven't burned bridges excessively (a failing of mine, I must admit). Network with them and see if they or their company are hiring. You can also use LinkedIn to try to develop some new ones but, unfortunately, that site has become more of a spot for "shotgun" recruiters who will contact you about jobs you have no interest in and plain old scammers. I keep mine private unless I'm looking for a job and I know other people do as well to avoid annoyances.

    As for age, you can cloak this a bit on your resume by only listing relevant and recent jobs, not including school graduation dates and so forth. The only problem here is that you might get a rude reaction when they see a "gray hair" walk in the door of their super hip and cool office.
     
    blowtorch likes this.
  11. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

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    Be able to demonstrate that you are a continual learner. This is especially true nowadays, because things move fast.

    Be active in Meetup groups and online communities related to your field.

    Keep you resume short and sweet

    Talk about where you want to go and what you want to do in the interview vs. what you did at previous jobs.

    Research the company and industry before the interview.

    Have well thought out questions for the interviewer

    Send a thank you email no later than 24 hours after the interview touching on key points of the interview and expressing your interest. Send a thank you even if you aren't interested.

    As a hiring manager, I'm always amazed when people don't know anything about the company/industry and don't have any questions. If I'm on the fence with 2 equal candidates, the one who asks more/better questions usually gets the job.

    Keep in mind most job listings are looking for "unicorns" - don't be scared away if you don't have every skill they are asking for. Most of my hires only match 30-40% - they get hired because they convince me that they can quickly learn what's missing.

    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  12. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    give us a hint at the work/skills area?
     
  13. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, I worked in the guitar industry until I got laid off in 2001. The economy was in the crapper, jobs were scarce, and I was couch surfing so I took what I could find. I wound up moving through the ranks at a sign and store fixture company. The money was okay, and I was comfortable even if the work was something I was only peripherally interested in.

    Fast forward 18 years.. a marriage, a kid, and a mortgage followed. I have zero interest or passion for what I do, and hit a pay ceiling about 3 years ago. I’ve kept the job because it’s steady money, even if it’s not much.

    I would love to get back into working with guitars, but I’m figuring I’ve been out of the game far too long. I have kept my skills up independently and do have recent examples of my work, but I’m not sure if that would carry any weight with a perspective employer.

    My best bet would most likely be continuing in my present field (digital graphics, large format digital printing) but I’m just over the whole industry. I love instrument making, but I fear that I’ve missed that boat because I let too much time go by.
     
  14. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Instrument making seems to be the kind of job that you have to create for yourself, no?

    How much is really new over the last 18 years? Robot tuners?
     
  15. Lunch meat

    Lunch meat TDPRI Member

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    Look at government work. Your skill set could work for municipalities that do graphic design in house. City, state and county sign shops might need you. I’ve found government agencies often play closer to the EOC rules than private employers. Steady pay, great benefits, generous holiday and vacation pay. Good luck!
     
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  16. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

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    Geez, you people are freaking ancient! Me too.

    Age discrimination is real. Starting a business of your own is the only way around that... age is generally a sales plus in most small businesses.

    Or, like @Lunch meat said, government work. They tend to discriminate less.
     
  17. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    Spot on reply...absolutely true.

    The only thing I would add is that it depends on the industry as to what effect age will have. Some industries favor older workers over the young for the old school work ethic and reliability that comes with it.
     
    dogmeat likes this.
  18. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Networking pays off. I have been working for the last 15, or so, years for 2 guys that I hired at a job that I worked at in the late ‘90s when they just graduated from school. They moved along and started their own firm. I am the senior associate with the most experience in the field. The staff values that. Best of all I can work there until I croak if I have to and I don’t own the place.
     
  19. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    True. In the tech industry there seems to be a disturbing trend of younger (25-35) folks 'ghosting' jobs after they were hired. For example, we had a newly hired developer show up for 2 weeks then he disappeared with no word at all. About a month later he sent an email saying he had found another job he liked better. Also, last year we had multiple job candidates accept the position we offered only to not show up on their first day. Some called saying they had found a better job, others never responded. (Our pay is really good but the work is rather dull compared to writing the "next Uber".)
     
    1955 likes this.
  20. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    It’s tough. I am 60, with no professional skills, and an Honours Degree in Theatre. :eek: I got a leg up on a career with Parks Canada, but bad policies made me redundant just as I was reaching the point of actually having a career. Necessity put me in retail sales, where I was OK with how things were going (although not thrilled) until a corporate ownership change made a tolerable job very *****y. I saw a passing opportunity where they valued my “maturity and experience” and took it, but it’s not turning out as planned. Now I am looking for the kind of crap work every other underskilled worker is looking for, except I’m 60. It’s no one’s fault but mine; I could have made decisions when I was younger that would allow me to be in a better position now, but that’s how it is.

    OK, I’m ranting. Long story short, just keep plugging away. There are employers who will value the experience you bring. The ones that discriminate based on your age are discriminating against other people for other reasons, and you probably don’t want to work for them anyway.
     
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