Just the other day, Sharon Cohen of the Associated Press wrote a story of Baby Boomers aged 50+ looking for long-term work. The article expressed the despair and rejection qualified candidates feel while searching for gainful employment. It evoked tough memories for me as well, when I was laid off the first time in my career, almost 25 years ago.
Ms. Cohen’s article chronicled the efforts of the job seekers – looking online, scouring the classifieds and even networking groups of other unemployed. I ran into the same issues – sending 100s of resumes to blind ads, knocking on storefronts with help wanted signs – and like many of my Boomer colleagues, I was told more than once that my knowledge and skills made me “over-qualified” for a position. The frustration and rejection can be overwhelming.
While these are traditional, classic methods, they are not the way most employers find great employees – the rules have changed and Boomers need to be aware of where to channel their time and energy.
In UPSIDE, we demonstrate how these rules of employment are changing to rules of engagement. Rather than look for stability through a 40-hour week job, we now must promote our most tangible assets, skills and strengths, and be able to tell a prospective boss how we can impact their results. This means taking a long hard look at your present skills and then researching what other industries or fields can benefit from your experience.
The next step is to get out there and network with people who have jobs in these fields. Volunteer on projects through their associations or join a group that you’ve always been interested in but didn’t have the time. Doing your homework gives you focus and direction while volunteering is a wonderful way to see past our own circumstances and woes.
The important factor here to remember is the definition of insanity – if it hasn’t worked for you in the past 6 -12 months, let it go. That mode or method is no longer effective and will only compound your frustration. Gratitude and a clear direction can be powerful motivators to alleviate despair!
Tags: Allison Blankenship, Associated Press, Baby Boomer unemployment, boomer, career, career change, change, change for life, fnding work over 50, goals, happiness, job search over 50, motivation, over 50 unemployment, prosperity, setbacks, Sharon Cohen, Sharon Cohen AP, success, survival strategies, unemployment over 50