I’ve contributed to an article published in Saga Magazine. I’m so pleased to have been asked to provide 10 tips to land your dream job in later life, and to provide a list of resources. Here are the 1st 5 tips I share, and you can read more in the magazine.
- Be clear WHY you want to return to work
Is it for the money, your pension isnt enough to meet your needs? Or for companionship? you enjoy the camaraderie from work? Perhaps you want to develop yourself and learn and earn. Being clear on why will make research easier.
- Decide WHAT to do
You can do more of the same; you were an office manager and now want to work closer to home or part-time. You might want less stress, so working in a small fashion/food retail environment would be perfect. Or there might be something you really want to do and want to retrain; there are many apprenticeship schemes aimed at older workers. Make a list of everything you would love to do, get any ideas on paper. Also, research growth jobs e.g. information security analysts, data analysts, roles within Architecture, and a wide range of jobs within personal services and health care. Research online and then talk with people. Narrow things down to 2 or 3. One that will be easy, but also a couple of jobs you would love to do. Using a career coach could help to make this happen.
- Understand your skill set
We have gained skills through our work history but also skills through hobbies and outside activities so look further than your CV and list all the skills you have. Then review, there will be skills you love to use and want to keep on using, and other skills that drain you. Aim to use as few of these draining skills as possible, focus on the skills you love. The job you want to do may require skills you lack. This doesnt mean you cant aim for this type of work, you could learn on the job, via an Apprenticeship scheme or retrain, perhaps take a short course.
- Have the confidence to believe you can do it
Success often depends on the conversations we have in our heads. Believe we can and we are half way there. Many of my older clients see their age as a negative, but as mature applicants we have a lot to offer: a different perspective, years of relevant experience, excellent interpersonal skills and a good work ethic. Stop the voice in your head telling you not to go for a job and think instead on all the reasons you will be successful. Avoid the negative people who tell you it wont work out, you need people around you who support you. If thats not your partner, find a friend and support each other.
- Review your CV
Your CV should focus on the job you want and why you are a good match. Gone are the personal statements that lay out what you want. Your focus needs to be on the recruiter, what key information do they need to make them want to read on. List your key skills and provide specific examples within the body of your CV. You dont need to go back to the 1970s, in most cases 15 years is sufficient; you can include an earlier career history to bring out some key older jobs. Lose the dates around your education (unless they are recent) and forget about your O levels. Do include short courses you have completed that keep your skills updated.
Most recruiters will do a search on LinkedIn, which is also a good place to find vacancies, so you need to have a presence here. Make your summary less formal than a CV – see it as talking over your key highlights with someone and make sure to include a great picture. Yes, they will see you are over 30 but you can come across as approachable, do smile!
You can see a scan of the article here, with more on the next page