Applying for a job can be a scary prospect and in the current job market over-50’s job seekers often have to work harder to overcome barriers. At the same time, it’s also becoming more apparent that people want to keep working past retirement with over-50’s deciding to carry on work right through their 60’s and even 70’s!
Specifically, the number of over 50’s in the workplace is on the rise with individuals aged between 50 and 64, accounting for over 50% of the annual employment increase. But what is really driving that need of working after retirement age?
The reasons for continuing to work over 50’s
People’s reasons for continuing to work post state pension age are widely varied. From working for the love of the job and the well-being benefits, to simply topping up their pension, the over 50’s workforce are keen to continue working for as long as they can.
Interestingly, according to research, the top reason for wanting to stay in a job by 54%, is enjoyment. 53% of over-50’s job seekers and workers support that work gives them a purpose, 52% states it keeps them from getting bored, while almost 40% says, they really need the money.
Challenges for over-50’s job seekers
The over 50’s seem to experience the worst-hit when it comes to long-term unemployment. Reports reveal that the over 50 age group face an ‘unemployment trap’. That means they are more likely to be out of work than younger age groups. And once unemployed, over-50’s job seekers struggle more than younger people to get back into employment.
Job seekers over 50 face a range of challenges in returning to work. These include poor health and long-term conditions, caring responsibilities and a lack of suitable and accessible employment opportunities. Moreover, perceived age bias seems to set another barrier, as recruitment processes may favour younger candidates. Internalised ageism is another big issue that over-50 job seekers may face, resulting in them feeling that some job opportunities are even out of reach due to their age and luck of training support.
Top tips for over-50’s job seekers
So, if you are a proud member of the over 50’s club, here’s what you need to remember when job hunting in your 50’s.
Get social media savvy – A break between one job and the next can give you the chance to pick up new social media skills, you may have missed out on. So, how about taking a short course in social media skills to stay up-to-date with technology?
Be flexible – Full-time permanent roles aren’t the only option available. More employers are offering part-time and fixed-term employment. Even a short fixed term contract is worth considering, if by the end of it you can become more employable, while also developing some new skills.
Consider new career options and self-employment – As an over 50 job seeker, you need to research the economy and find where the new jobs are. Think about whether there are ways to re-package your skills and previous experience to position yourself for a different kind of career opportunity. You could also consider setting up your own business.
Network – Time you spend networking has to form a crucial part of your job search. At aged 50 or over, chances are you have developed an extensive range of workplace and social contacts. Therefore, utilise these, as they can prove a rich source of information about the job market and current trends.
Update your CV – Ideally, start from scratch and focus on the most recent ten years of your career. Anything beyond ten to fifteen years may be out of date and have little relevance in your job search. You can fill most of the first page of your CV with your most recent ten-year career history, and on page two, have a summary of your earlier career with just employer names, job title and dates.
Recent reports show that 2020 will offer many new jobs for the older demographic. So if you are over 50 and job hunting, visit Zoek and start applying today! For more career advice and job search top tips visit our InfoHub.
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