Hitting the age of 50 is a milestone that you kind of look forward to making. Yeah, it means you’re getting older, but it also means that life is getting easier in many aspects. Or is it? What if you wake up one morning to find yourself looking for a job? To be unemployed at any age is unsettling, but when you find yourself unemployed at the age of 50 or older, it is downright scary.
Chances are, the last time you looked for a job was before the internet exploded with all the different ways to look for a job, so trying to figure out what steps you should take first isn’t so easy. Gone are the days of scouring the classified ads in the daily newspaper and just walking in, filling out an application, chatting with the hiring manager, and starting work within the end of the week.
There is so much more to job searching today and getting hired is a whole different ball game. But, that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless! We found some advice and tips for the older unemployed candidate that just can’t seem to get past the gatekeepers.
Keep Strong and Focus on You
No doubt you have already noticed the job market is nothing like it once was, or you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. The job search is exhausting emotionally, mentally and physically. So right up front, you need to focus on you and find ways to keep focused, stay positive, and be strong. This starts by staying in a routine and the following tips will help too:
- Create A Support System: By reaching out to those around you, it will help you get through this time. This is not the time to become isolated. Find people to be around that encourage you and have positive attitudes and vibes.
- Stay Healthy: Improve your health and stay healthy by exercising. If you already have an exercise regimen, then add something new to it like biking, dance class, swimming, tai chi or yoga. And don’t let boredom drive you to eat junk foods. Stay with healthy snacks and get your 8 to 9 hours of sleep.
- Take Up Reading: Reading is a great way to escape the world and relax and it doesn’t have to cost either! Exchange books with friends, visit the public library or download free books.
- Get Challenged: Challenge yourself to learn something new or to something you never have. Maybe you can improve your computer skills with a free class at the public library or volunteer with an organization. You’ll be surprised what you can learn there and the experience will be rewarding.
- Your Anger or Frustrations: It is key to staying positive so find a way to vent. Find somebody to talk to about how you’re feeling. Maybe a family member, a friend or turn to your clergy.
- The Perfect Interview Outfit: While you’re waiting on that interview, go through your wardrobe and pull out the latest up-to-date items you have that make you feel good about yourself. There are programs that provide help in finding the right interview clothes like Dress for Success.
- Know Your Credit Report: Today, employers include a credit check with background checks. Get a free copy of your credit report and make sure you know what’s on it. AnnualCreditReport.com is an official site that helps consumers obtains their credit report free once a year.
- Create A Job Search Schedule: This will keep you focused and keep you on track. Creating a customized resume, searching for job leads and filling out online applications all take time. Determine how much time you should dedicate each week to the job search and then stay with that schedule.
- A Professional Email and Voicemail: First impressions are lasting impressions so create a professional email address and a professional voice mail, on your cell and at home, will give potential employers a good impression.
- Be That Positive Candidate: Remember that positive energy draws positive results. The job market today requires flexibility. Change isn’t always easy, especially as we get older. AARP and other organizations offer help for the experienced worker to find new jobs.