If you're a job seeker who's bid your 50th birthday goodbye, you know the challenges to reemployment only too well. The experts say you can figure on a far longer search time than your younger counterparts and, most likely, you can also expect a drop in pay. Making the process even more difficult, you'll need to overcome a variety of unkind stereotypes employers may hold against you by virtue of your age alone.
But, before you throw up your hands in discouragement and defeat, there's some awfully good news brewing on the Internet. True to our boomer birthright, our numbers still guarantee us visibility and a certain share of social perks. Believe it or not, this generational entitlement extends to those of us who are looking for work. In fact there are a variety of websites springing up that are solely focused on catering to the needs of the mature job seeker.
The following is a list of five sites you'll want to be certain to check out. Some have been around for a while and others are fairly new. But each is dedicated to making your job search an easier, more effective process.
Workforce 50 boasts the motto, "No Pastures Here" and bills itself as providing information and resources helpful to the experienced worker in making job and career changes. The site includes a range of helpful information: job listings, career resources, featured columns and more.
Simply Hired 50+ sources jobs from "Age 50+ Friendly Companies" and sends the listings directly to your email inbox. All you need do is add your job title, skills and additional job-related keywords, your location, and check the box "only search age 50+ friendly companies."
Prime CB, a division of CareerBuilder.com, the nations' largest job site, identifies openings for baby boomers and seniors. By entering keywords, location, and career category, you can post your resume, receive job alerts and get the latest news about your career field.
You can also combine purpose, passion and a paycheck at Encore.org. This site specializes in midlife job seekers who want more fulfillment in the second half of life through finding meaningful work. They concentrate on sourcing careers in health care, education, government, green industries and nonprofits. To find out more, be sure to check out Shelley Emling's recent article about Encore Careers for Huff/Post 50.
One of the most exciting new sites is Work Reimagined, the new alliance between AARP and LinkedIn, which connects you to well over 100 companies with immediate hiring needs. What makes this site especially useful for seasoned job-seekers is the requirement that, in order to be included, participating companies need to sign a pledge that they will recruit across all age groups. This means that these organizations have committed in writing to create a level playing field --therefore you get an equal chance at landing a position no matter how old you are.
This list is only a start. There are several additional websites catering to those of us who are fifty plus and looking for work. Just enter "find a job after 50" into your favorite search engine and you'll discover a slew of sites and articles with valuable advice.
Just remember, as a mature job seeker, you'll want to take advantage of help from a wide variety of sources, select the methods and strategies that work best for you, and try to keep as optimistic as possible. Although there's little doubt that real roadblocks for mature applicants exist, there are also numerous attributes that age and experience bring. So stress the positive, come from a position of strength, arm yourself with information and network like crazy.
And, as much as possible, try to anticipate success. With the right outlook, the right information, and a little luck, you might just find yourself back in the workforce long before you'd expected!
Mary Eileen Williams is a Nationally Board Certified Career Counselor with a Master's Degree in Career Development and twenty years' experience assisting midlife jobseekers to achieve satisfying careers. Her book, Land the Job You Love: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50, is a step-by-step guide that shows you how you can turn your age into an advantage and brand yourself for success. Recently updated, it's packed with even more information aimed at providing mature applicants with the tools to gain the edge over the competition and successfully navigate the modern job market. Visit her website at Feisty Side of Fifty.com and celebrate your sassy side!