Tips to Help Older Workers Find Jobs


Many boomers, older workers and retirees wish to continue working either because they need the income or need the challenge of a work environment. The list below provides tips and resources for different kinds of careers or jobs as well as to assist those with varied needs and interests.

1. For those interested in consulting you will need to identify your value to prospective consulting clients or consulting firms to appropriately market yourself. To do this, you should:

  • Assess your experience, skill sets, general knowledge, etc.
  • Assess how your experience translates to marketable skills of value to their needs.
  • Identify potential market opportunities.
  • Look for a place to start as a consultant. (Remember, referencing working for another firm is secondary to project work on your own.) When you first start looking for projects either on your own or with a consulting company you are less likely to have a proper understanding of this market and you won't have the appropriate information to reach prospects to “sell” your value. This will take time as you build experience and the development of a referral network that comes from working on projects as a consultant and problem solver.
  • Depending on your function and industry, consider starting your own consulting firm where you can offer your services on a project basis.. You should also consider identifying and becoming affiliated with existing consulting firms that serve the markets in which you are involved. Maintain your network as this is extremely valuable to you as well as any firm you may join. 
  • Check out this MarketWatch article for more information Why retire? Become a consultant 

2. Do some research to identify firms outside of your industry that hire people with your experience and skill sets so you can contact them for project assignments.

3.  While you are searching for employment consider volunteering using your experience on a project basis. Some of these assignments provide payment for your services but most don't. Volunteering also has other advantages as it builds experience and can sometimes lead to prestigious board or committee positions or invitations. It is also better to be working as a volunteer when you interview.

4. Many executives, managers and professionals don't have the skills to work virtually and collaboratively. If you don't possess these skills, you must get training if you hope to be successful in acquiring project assignments. Much of the project or consultative work you get is likely to be done remotely as opposed to on site. You will need “leading edge” communications skills to be successful and if you don’t already have them, you must acquire them.

5.  Use the major job boards like Indeed, Monster and CareerBuilder to research the kinds of jobs in which their requirements match your skills, experience and education. This will give you a better idea of the kinds of jobs you can realistically expect to be considered for and help you better focus your efforts. Use the Jobmaster app to find more job sites.

6. Search for a temporary, part-time, project-based or seasonal job as these jobs are more available to older workers. Here's a good site for those.

7 If you are a professional interested in project assignments or working on a freelance basis this site lists a number of areas that will help you.  

8. Your interview is a very important part of getting a job and you may not have interviewed for a long time. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself and ways you can best present yourself.

Who am I, NOW?
What do I want?
What are my values?
What are my core strengths?

Product—What skills and contributions do you offer?
Price—What is your value?
Promotion—What messages convey your skills?
Place—How will you get your message out?
Position—What differentiates you from others?

Present yourself with concrete examples of your role and accomplishments.
What was your role, title, team type and position within the team?
Examples of how to do so:
"As Director of _____I…."
"I was responsible for…"
"As a member of the product team…"
"When I taught or instructed I…"

What did you do?
"I created, led, initiated, designed, developed, simplified, organized, facilitated…”
"I developed a plan that …"
"I created a process that…"
"I led the team that…"

What was the result of my efforts?
"I increased, improved, reduced, achieved…”
"I reduced vacancy rates 30%"
"I improved test scores by 20%"
"I achieved highest-ever attendance levels"
"I increased call efficiency by 10% for 3 consecutive quarters."

9. The resume you used years ago is no longer appropriate. The single most important part of your resume is the summary of experience at the very top. This area should contain applicable experience for each position and should be modified for each submission to reflect this experience. Listen to this podcast with a resume writer for additional tips.

Guest Author: Art Koff is the founder of RetiredBrains which providers boomers, retirees and people planning to retire resources for their life and career.

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