In the job transition groups I attend they refer to getting a job as “landing.” I’ve had a “soft landing,” kind of like when you’re flying from the US to Europe and stop in Greenland for refueling. I’m not in Europe yet, but Greenland isn’t too bad 🙂
I’ve accepted a part time contract position doing Web content management. It won’t pay all the bills, but it more than covers the mortgage and it will help my severance to last a lot longer. It also feels good to be working, and I’m enjoying myself so far. I’m trying to get some freelance work or a second part time contract. I’m also still looking at full time positions, too.
I joined a LinkedIn group that has been having a spirited discussion about finding work when you’re over 50. I think it was probably the most negative, bitter discussion I’ve ever read. It made me reflect on my experience these past few months and a few things I’ve learned.
- It’s easy to become negative, but if you let that negativity take hold it will drag you down. We’re only victims if we take on the victim role.
- Much of what we think of as age discrimination is really about money. People in their 50s have a lot of experience, and expect to be paid for it. Many employers value our experience but don’t want to pay for it. If we are willing to take jobs below our experience, for low pay, many employers assume we will leave as soon as a higher paying job is offered – and if we’re honest with ourselves, they’re probably right. This is a challenge, but there are employers who value what we have to offer. It just may take a bit longer to find them.
- We can help ourselves by never losing our curiosity and love of learning, and bringing enthusiasm and energy to our interviews and business meetings. We need to stay current with our industry and any new trends, even if we’re not using them at the moment. Doing this improves our chances of being hired.
- The discussion on LinkedIn really blasted recruiters. Personally, I have found some very good and very helpful recruiters, but we need to remember that their priority is to satisfy their customers, the companies doing the hiring. We need to have reasonable expectations about what they can do for us, and build relationships with recruiters who deal with jobs in our field. They can be good partners for us if we are honest with them about what we can and can’t do, and treat them with respect.