The question really is, are they truly unemployable? Or is it just really challenging to match them up with a searching employer?
Do I think the jobs are out there? Yes. I do. I wouldn’t be pouring my heart and soul into the cause of 50 plus employment if I didn’t believe, that at the end of the day, there would be a positive outcome for 50 plussers in need of work.
The trick…and the one that has me awake at 2:31 am (Pacific Time, for you early birds on the East coast…or on other continents), is finding the ways to match up the jobseeker with that searching employer. Every career site tells you to “think out of the box” in job search. But what does that really mean? I’m going to share my strategy for how I help every jobseeker who writes me, to identify their strengths for the job market.
- About half of all jobseekers look for their next job via the internet. That’s great…and I encourage you to get your resume in good shape, relevent and clean (bullet-pointed and with easy to understand vocabulary), and a strong cover letter. That must be one prong of your career search strategy. The reason you are encouraged to limit your career history on a resume to 10 to 15 years is that employers are really only interested in your past 5 years or so of history…because it is relevent to the current skill set you bring to the table. So you have to identify, for them, what you are really good at.
- The other half of all jobseekers find their next job through networking, knocking on doors, and by using good old-fashioned fancy footwork. This means making everyone they know aware they are in job search mode, literally hand-delivering resumes to smaller businesses who are not likely to advertise on internet job boards, and looking for positions outside the scope of your job history. (If you are in or near LA, make sure to join us for our free Gen Plus Town Hall on January 22nd. Just email me and let me know you’d like to join us!)
- Identifying your strengths and your desires. This is the most important part of any job search. Finding out what you are really good at and what you want to do. Have you been in sales the past 10 years and can’t get a job because you are perceived as too old? But you LOVE gardening? Why not try to get a job in a nursery? Find what you love and apply your skill set to your passion. Employers will sense your enthusiasm rather than desperation.
- Developing a strategy. If you have no idea how to set goals and timelines, get a copy of my e-book: “Keep Dreaming: Creating a Strategic Plan for the Rest of Your Life.“ Small investment, strong result. You can use it for a simple strategy definition, or use all of it and create an overall business plan for your life. Up to you, but a strong piece and created specifically for the 50 Plus jobseeker. Even if you delay getting the workbook, you need to identify your goals, a timeframe for getting there, and measure your own results (just like your former employer measured your contribution to THEIR strategic goals.)
- Don’t give up. Your current job status is not a measure of who you are as a person. It is exactly what it is. A measure of your employment. You either have a job…or you don’t. If you don’t, then you will get one. Don’t give up.
- Sign up with every temp service you can find and call in every day for a job. If you have not signed up with Kelly Services, do so. They are very committed to the mature worker. (More on that in the next few days.)
- Claim your space. Don’t have a profile on Gen Plus? Linked In? Eons? If you don’t have a web presence, get one. It’s very simple to head over to any social or business network and put up a bit about you on the internet. The first thing a potential employer will do is google or yahoo you. So you need to be on the web in a positive way…i.e. a presence controlled by you.
- Just like learning to ride a bike? When you were a kid, did you give up on learning to ride a bike? Fell off a few times and said to yourself, “Nah. I’m not going to ride that bike.” Not likely. It is more likely that you got on the bike twenty or thirty times until you got the hang of the balance. It may take you hundreds of job applications until you get your next job. But all you need is one person to say yes to your hire….right?
NOW, maybe I can get to sleep! Have a great weekend.