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!