Age discrimination in the employment arena is increasing and many older employees are struggling to maintain momentum in their search for work, often competing against younger applicants for the same job and finding it difficult to get past recruitment agencies. So how do you change this and actually use your age and experience to help you in your job search?
You have a business card holder; don’t be afraid to use it – You know people. You have worked in the same area for decades and you know the key people; in fact you’ve probably sat next to them in meetings and attended the same conferences. Start calling them. Younger candidates don’t know as many people in their field, so work this to your advantage. Chances are you know a few recruitment agents as well!
Consider consulting – Try a different approach: offer your services as a consultant. Remember you were the person who boosted your company’s market share by 50 percent! Bring it to the table and present yourself to the company you want to work for as a contractor/consultant. It’s a more cost effective way for the company to employ a candidate that knows what they are doing. When you have a foot in the door, you can prove your worth and hopefully turn it into a full-time job. You might even find out that you like being a self-employed contractor.
Use the telephone – Contrary to current belief, the world does not communicate by text alone. Pick the phone up and talk to people instead of just relying on emails and text. This is your opportunity to show personality — who you are and how you conduct yourself is superior by phone than communicating by text or email. Use your personality and find a Recruitment Consultant who will work with you and help you get the momentum going. The right recruitment consultant will always bear you in mind if you have taken the time to build a relationship with them. You might find this person in a recruitment agency that dedicates themselves to your field or even in a budget recruitment agency that is more generalist – as always it is all about the relationship!
Don’t devalue yourself – If you don’t believe you are worthy, no one else will either. You still possess skills and talents. Younger people might take unpaid work experience purely so they can show experience on their resume – something you already have in buckets. If you are going to work for free, at the very least, negotiate for services in exchange. Once you give it away, you lose the credibility to charge for it.
Use your knowledge of your generation – You know what things your industry has tried and what has failed so as a spokesperson of your generation, you bring a point of view that someone younger lacks. You also know what concerns, interests and habits people of your generation share. Every business needs to have diversity — and these days that means age diversity as well as racial and ethnic diversity.