Rejection at any age is upsetting but when you have a wealth of experience to offer, you question how you are going to survive financially and mentally.
Having faced rejection in my forties and then again in my fifties, I was frequently told that I was too qualified, too old or they wanted someone younger.
It seems to be socially acceptable to write off over fifties without thinking clearly about the real loss to business.
But it’s not fair to simply dismiss this cohort, especially with recent changes to the retirement age and many Australians now having to stay in the workforce longer, or contemplating returning to work.
The valuable experience and wisdom of our older Australians takes a lifetime to gain. Our mature age citizens contribute to business by adding value as role models with great work ethics, and resilience dealing with problems. There is so much to learn from experience and past mistakes that to exclude our older Australians from the workforce limits our perspective on the world of business.
Older Australians need proactive and structured help to get back to work. And most importantly, they need to think about their personal brand. The concept of a personal brand may seem completely foreign to older workers, but it is still an essential marketing tool
Dealing with employer perception starts with a person learning the techniques to market the assets already in their possession.
The following tips can help mature age workers find a job:
- Get ready for employment. Think about your skills and abilities as transferable into another career pathway. Look at creating a resume to include career profile, key skills and abilities. Review achievements and factor this in to a resume.
- Personal brand – what is yours?: Determine your point of difference. Are you social, helpful, energetic, stylish, or analytical? In other words, what are your marketable assets? Knowing who you are is important in knowing your personal brand. Questions such as ‘what is your authentic you?’ will help you in determining your brand.
- Create a marketing plan. Develop strategies for your job search that are built around specific job goals and industry targets and your lifestyle. The success of any business is based on its business plan. A plan is essential to the job search process.
- Interview techniques. Practice potential interview questions such as, “What can you bring to the position?” and “How will your experience will add value to the business?”. Preparation is the key to confidence on the day.