The "work" of interviews
Continuing on Liz's journey in the Life Strategies series...
Liz had made a few appointments and written a resume that had been tweaked twice ie for her ‘front-of-house’ restaurant and hotel appointments and for her entree into aged care.
She mentioned that both lots of appointments had been difficult to make as she hadn’t had any requisite training. She had to talk fast to get her hospitality interviews and some of them were ‘loose’ regarding timing and actual interest. She had mentioned that she was happy to wait until her interviewers were ready to see her which apparently was the right response. She had dressed appropriately in classic attire so now was the day of reckoning. The aged care interviews were more forthcoming and many were happy to just talk over the phone. I asked her to contact me when she returned home for a debrief.
I could tell when she called that she felt a little deflated. She was told to get a job in hospitality before even thinking of applying for ‘front-of-house’ positions. Liz felt that she was too old for waitressing as it was very hard work and not well paid for the effort you had to put in. I suggested she call TAFE and some colleges who offered hospitality training to get a better picture of what was on offer and her suitability. Her aged care interviews were a little more promising. There were many positions available. Many required a nursing background but some occasionally came up for recreational officers and Liz decided that she would enjoy this type of role. She had originally worked as a teacher’s aide, liked craft and organising activities. I suggested she contact one of the aged care facilities to see if they could put her in touch with somebody who was currently working in that role to examine the pro’s and con’s of such a position.
Liz thought that was a good idea. As these could be coveted roles for others like herself I suggested that after she had spoken to her recreation contact that she ring me with her thoughts on moving forward. If she liked what she was told then we could plan a strategy for her to secure a position.
Next week: what Liz learned from her contact and the NEXT step!
If you missed the first parts of Liz's journey in my Life Strategy series, you can go back an have a read!
Being valuable and valued
Continuing on Liz's journey in the Life Strategies series...
I could tell that Liz needed a huge dose of motivation if she was to succeed. She needed to feel she was capable, competent and that her work experience was valuable AND valued.
I asked her about her work history, what she liked and didn’t about her past positions. And I took notes! It was obvious that she didn’t mind working in a team as long as she had a certain amount of autonomy. I knew that Liz had a great phone manner and generally loved assisting people. Her computer skills needed updating (TAFE!) but for a role in customer service she would have been perfectly cast. If looking for a receptionist She would probably need a ‘refresh’ to look the best version of herself. I offered to help with that as I had done for others in many of my previous roles in recruitment and personal development.
During our ‘coaching‘ session I made a point of ‘accentuating the positive’ as the song goes in order to help build her confidence. I’m a great believer in giving people honest feedback in a positive way....not something that too many of us experience at times!
We next looked at local ‘Positions Vacant’ ads as Liz said that it would be easier and cheaper re travel for her to work locally. The ads were few and far between and some needed deciphering with regard to what the prospective employer really wanted. Some she clearly wasn’t to and others weren’t of interest. I also asked her not to dismiss some ads out of hand because of her lack of confidence.
Next week, Liz selects which jobs to apply for and we discuss rewriting her resume.
Finding work when you are 50+
After my friend Liz mentioned she needed to find a P/T job, I asked her if she just wanted a ‘job’ or work at something she actually enjoyed? Like many third agers who need to bolster their income, she didn’t realise that it was an option.
Like many of us she left school with absolutely no idea of what to do, what was on offer, what job titles meant...even what she could be suited to. Interviews with vocational guidance counsellors seemed to be unsatisfying and the range of employment fairly limited. Her parents took it upon themselves to enrol her in secretarial college , often the ‘fix it’ solution as they, too, were unaware of options as they had followed what their parents had suggested a generation earlier.
Liz loathed secretarial college but persevered, thinking that the world would always need her shorthand/typing skills. I have heard this story many times before from other women and have even experienced it myself.
I told Liz to forget the past and concentrate on her future. Together we looked at her current skills, personal attributes and what employment she thought she would be suited to. She said she liked helping people ie advising them but felt negative about her prospects, saying that her age was against her, jobs were more complicated these days and younger people would surely be preferred. I countered by saying that she had years of valuable experience and asked to see her resume. It needed some serious updating and certainly didn’t do her any favours. It read like a shopping list and didn’t highlight any of her people skills or other positive characteristics. In other words
it was a marketing disaster!
Next week: Liz and I work on her motivation and aspirations. We talk about the NOW of WOW (world of work) i.e. demystify roles, find some for her to apply for and discuss THAT resume!
‘Creating a meaningful future’
A friend contacted me the other day and said that she needed to find work a couple of days a week as her super was meagre to say the least. Although she also had a part pension she needed just a little extra so she could afford the odd ‘luxury’. By ‘luxury’ she was referring to the occasional cup of coffee with a friend. She was also terrified that her rent could be increased at any time. I asked about her background, skills and if she had a resume. She replied that she hadn’t worked for about 7 years, didn’t have a current resume and that her skills were rusty. She also thought that her old job was now obsolete and wondered if she was too old to change course and upskill. I asked her what role she could be interested in pursuing. I had moved into writing, workshops and coaching as I love writing and enjoy the involvement and interaction of the other activities. But where to for my friend?
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Now that you’re retired... or just have more time on your hands... what's next?
Many people, on retiring, often feel at a loose end. While working they felt as though they were ‘organised’. They had routine, a daily schedule and always thought that when they retired, life would just happen for them. Some retire and then spend that retirement catching up on all the hobbies they did part- time but always wanted to do more of like gardening or painting. Some retirees are just not sure what they want to do.
Perhaps they are spoilt for choice or don’t know what’s really ‘their thing’. I knew that feeling really well and fortunately applied a little lateral thinking and started a series of books filled with mini-autobiographies written by people in their 50’s, 60’s and 70+ These people knew happily what they wanted to do or kept on doing something they’ve always done and that may be very inspiring but how does that help you?
I am currently putting together a small group of people who have put their hands up for
a little help in this area. They would like to get together to discuss how to find that purpose, activity or interest now they have more time on their hands.
If this describes you and you would like to know more then please message me, either through FB - JulieAnkersWrites or via email. I look forward to hearing from you.
More about the workshops!
A lot of the over 50’s hit a certain point in their lives and are stumped with what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. As one who has experienced this feeling of bewilderment, it’s like the process of peeling an onion...a layer at a time.
We all don’t know exactly what we will do after paid employment. Some do and feel as though they’ve been waiting all their lives to focus on gardening, yoga, painting or perhaps writing that book, voluntary work, travelling etc. Some try it and feel underwhelmed, others overwhelmed and the result is that many of us remain in a quandary. What to do next? Where to start? How do I know if I’ll be any good or will be bored again like the last time? How do I discover THAT passion or enthusiasm? And then there are the other third age issues like health, downsizing, unresolved family matters. It’s exhausting to contemplate and often helps to either discuss with others or a confidante.
Often we need a goal but how do we determine what that goal should be?
Seems like an odd question but, for many of us, is it?
A few of my readers have asked me about the workshops I intend to run based on some of the pointers in the books. One of the questions posed was ‘why workshops’?
The simple answer is that I run across people around my age all the time who either aren’t spending their retirement in a fulfilling way or find that their lives lack balance. They want to plan a meaningful retirement – i.e. one that has MEANING for them, and for others it’s often about resolving certain issues so they can move forward and feel at peace in this very important time of their lives.
In order to help with overcoming these challenges, I will be facilitating workshops and offering strategic life coaching sessions.
I’ve also been asked about my interest in coaching and conducting workshops and what this has to do with writing age positive books. It may seem like a professional leap, but I see this as a natural progression from what I am currently doing.
Before I was a writer, I was a speaker and trainer. For a number of years I was a corporate trainer, then a training manager (working in Australia and overseas), before I started my own speakers and trainers bureau and also diversified into running workshops for mature age employees – which became a passion!
After some 23 years I moved to the mountains and started publishing books ... compilations of stories written by men and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, about what they are doing at this stage of their lives, how they are feeling about it and what keeps them motivated.
This has motivated me to go to the next step of offering workshops and coaching to those readers who have read the books and are now saying ‘I’d like to be motivated like that’ or ‘Where do I start?’ or ‘How do I work out what I need to do?’.
Which brings me to my next big adventure! Workshops and coaching will begin when the distancing restrictions ease. Watch my Facebook page or my website, www.julieankers.com, for updates and announcements.