Are you 50+ and looking to change your career or perhaps re-enter the workplace now that your children are grown? Perhaps you are retired but decided that this lifestyle isn’t for you – you need to work?
Finding a job as a mature person isn’t easy, although we have so much to offer as well as life experience. My next guest in the Over 50 & Thriving Series, is Linda Hobden from Boots, Shoes and Fashion. Linda has written for ST60&Beyond before with styling and fashion tips, but as a woman who decided to return to ‘the workplace proper’ as she calls it after 27 years, she discovered that it wasn’t quite that easy.
Today, Linda shares with us her practical tips to thriving in the job market when you are 50+. I would also encourage you to connect with Linda through her website and social media links at the end of the article.
5 Tips For Thriving In The Job Market at 50+
I had my two youngest sons in my 40s , and once I reached 50 I decided it was time for me to return to the workplace “proper” after an absence of around 27 years. Don’t get me wrong – I had been a stay at home mum but not “just a housewife”!
For most of those 27 years I had been doing part time work from home – 13 years as a charity telemarketer; a year or two with various party plan companies; a year or two as a secretary to a sales rep for a printing machine company; I had made & sold my own jewellery; I had been an Avon rep for around 15 years; I sold children’s clothes at bazaars and local sales that I had bought from wholesalers; I volunteered for the last 15 years at a local coffee & book shop; I was playleader at 3 different children’s groups; I started my own fashion blog ….
However much you think you are prepared, going back into the job market after a gap of a number of years, is daunting. Here are my 5 tips to help you thrive in today’s job market:
1. Stop thinking that 50 is old.
It isn’t. It is a perfect age to change your career direction if you For those who haven’t had a significant break from working, then the idea of retirement might appeal.
For me, I wanted to go out and feel as though I’m doing something worthwhile. Bringing up my family was worth while, working from home was worthwhile, blogging is worthwhile … but I needed a change of scenery. A few hours where my attention is away from the home.
I found that I no longer wanted to work in an office environment – my “change of career direction” led me into the field of retail merchandising – being a merchandiser satisfies my love of variety, responsibility, flexibility, teamwork & yet self sufficient.
2. Applying for jobs has changed significantly.
Make sure your CV/resume is up-to-date and relevant to today’s standards. Trouble is, in the olden days, your CV was full of information, pages and pages of it – everything was written down.
In 2018, your CV/resume needs to be streamlined – the last 10 years career history perhaps should be written in detail- followed by a brief summary of other jobs.
Include in your latest career history, any volunteer work you have done, from shopwork, toddler group leadership to school governor, helping with reading in classes, etc especially if the skills can relate to the jobs you’re applying for. In fact, I found that most employers didn’t want to see a resume/CV – they had their own online forms for you to fill in, outlining the important information they would rather know.
3. Be prepared for unconventional interview techniques (and questions).
Initial interviews can be conducted via telephone or skype as well as the old fashioned boardroom. Research the company well, prepare in your mind some questions you could ask them about their company, and be yourself.
4. Computer/Social Media Skills.
Things have changed since I left school in 1981 with a typing certificate as well as my academic qualifications! By 1990, the typewriter in our office had been replaced with a basic word processor. I purchased a Home computer in 2001 and had bought discs to perfect my typing on it … and in 2012 I started my blog.
I do still handwrite a lot of my notes. Nowadays though almost everything is computerised. I took a course in 2015 to learn about Excel and book keeping… even though my job isn’t computer based as such, I still use emails, tablets and computer programmes to download photos, reports, timesheets …
5. Accept criticism.
Hard one this. You might not come across criticism, but if you do, embrace it positively. I had turned up to one interview and didn’t get the job although I had been shortlisted. I felt at the interview that the job was probably way too technical for me and was too much computer based than I had initially realised. I was offered feedback by one of the interviewers, and reluctantly accepted … I’m glad I did, because she told me what she considered were my strengths and it led me to apply for the job that I currently do, which is me to a ‘T’.
Wishing you all the best of luck!
Hi! My name is Linda and I’m a blogger! By day I’m a cosmetic/retail merchandiser. I’m 52, am happily married to Adam and I have 5 children aged from 10 to 27! I have one daughter who is the 2nd eldest at 23.My eldest three have all left the nest – my eldest is a professional chef; my 2nd son is currently in his 2nd year at University studying animation; my daughter is a hotel restaurant supervisor/trainee hotel manager.
My blog, Boots Shoes & Fashion, was started in July 2012. It started off being a “traditional” shoe and fashion blog, i.e. talking about styles, what’s in the shops and online etc. By January 2013 my blog started to include interviews with fashion designers and my friends who just happen to be in that industry. I found that I enjoyed interviewing people and that the feedback was positive that nowadays it is an interview style lifestyle/fashion blog where I profile many inspirational people from around the world as well as doing the odd review and fashion feature too.
Connect with Linda
Facebook: (shoe group) f.bootsshoesandfashion.com
(blog page) www.facebook.com/bootsshoesandfashion
Google+ : http://plus.google.com/+LindaHobden
Don’t forget to post your Instagram photos using the hashtag #over50andthriving.