Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Friday, November 09, 2007

Finding a Job at 50 Plus...I Can't Sleep at Night

Just about every day, I receive emails from frustrated jobseekers, who at 50 plus, find themselves unemployable.

The question really is, are they truly unemployable? Or is it just really challenging to match them up with a searching employer?

Do I think the jobs are out there? Yes. I do. I wouldn't be pouring my heart and soul into the cause of 50 plus employment if I didn't believe, that at the end of the day, there would be a positive outcome for 50 plussers in need of work.

The trick...and the one that has me awake at 2:31 am (Pacific Time, for you early birds on the East coast...or on other continents), is finding the ways to match up the jobseeker with that searching employer. Every career site tells you to "think out of the box" in job search. But what does that really mean? I'm going to share my strategy for how I help every jobseeker who writes me, to identify their strengths for the job market.

  1. About half of all jobseekers look for their next job via the internet. That's great...and I encourage you to get your resume in good shape, relevent and clean (bullet-pointed and with easy to understand vocabulary), and a strong cover letter. That must be one prong of your career search strategy. The reason you are encouraged to limit your career history on a resume to 10 to 15 years is that employers are really only interested in your past 5 years or so of history...because it is relevent to the current skill set you bring to the table. So you have to identify, for them, what you are really good at.

  2. The other half of all jobseekers find their next job through networking, knocking on doors, and by using good old-fashioned fancy footwork. This means making everyone they know aware they are in job search mode, literally hand-delivering resumes to smaller businesses who are not likely to advertise on internet job boards, and looking for positions outside the scope of your job history. (If you are in or near LA, make sure to join us for our free Gen Plus Town Hall on January 22nd. Just email me and let me know you'd like to join us!)

  3. Identifying your strengths and your desires. This is the most important part of any job search. Finding out what you are really good at and what you want to do. Have you been in sales the past 10 years and can't get a job because you are perceived as too old? But you LOVE gardening? Why not try to get a job in a nursery? Find what you love and apply your skill set to your passion. Employers will sense your enthusiasm rather than desperation.

  4. Developing a strategy. If you have no idea how to set goals and timelines, get a copy of my e-book: "Keep Dreaming: Creating a Strategic Plan for the Rest of Your Life." Small investment, strong result. You can use it for a simple strategy definition, or use all of it and create an overall business plan for your life. Up to you, but a strong piece and created specifically for the 50 Plus jobseeker. Even if you delay getting the workbook, you need to identify your goals, a timeframe for getting there, and measure your own results (just like your former employer measured your contribution to THEIR strategic goals.)

  5. Don't give up. Your current job status is not a measure of who you are as a person. It is exactly what it is. A measure of your employment. You either have a job...or you don't. If you don't, then you will get one. Don't give up.

  6. Sign up with every temp service you can find and call in every day for a job. If you have not signed up with Kelly Services, do so. They are very committed to the mature worker. (More on that in the next few days.)

  7. Claim your space. Don't have a profile on Gen Plus? Linked In? Eons? If you don't have a web presence, get one. It's very simple to head over to any social or business network and put up a bit about you on the internet. The first thing a potential employer will do is google or yahoo you. So you need to be on the web in a positive way...i.e. a presence controlled by you.

  8. Just like learning to ride a bike? When you were a kid, did you give up on learning to ride a bike? Fell off a few times and said to yourself, "Nah. I'm not going to ride that bike." Not likely. It is more likely that you got on the bike twenty or thirty times until you got the hang of the balance. It may take you hundreds of job applications until you get your next job. But all you need is one person to say yes to your hire....right?
NOW, maybe I can get to sleep! Have a great weekend.


Rhea said...

Good stuff. I am not currently looking for a new job, but from time to time I put out a feeler. It's been years since I've had to find a new job, but one day I will need to remember how to do it. Thanks.

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Thanks, Rhea. It is increasingly difficult to find work when you are in your late 40's and into your 50's, so I hope your career continues to be strong and successful. Thanks for stopping by!

Matsonian said...

This is great stuff! I created QuickPlanner Plus on a whim for business people, but I also knew that it would be a great planning tool for people in any area of their lives. Point number 4 about developing a strategy is spot on! For those who don't know how to create that plan, you ebook is a good start, plus a simple tool like QuickPlanner Plus can guide through the planning process. Keep up the good work!

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

It is so hard to focus on strategy when doors keep slamming you in the face, but I do believe that without a set goal, a timeframe, and a measure of your achievement of that goal, you can't really know where you are. There are a lot of great tools out there and the trick is to use them!, so thanks for sharing yours.


SuzyQ said...

I help run a national program that helps people 55 and older to find work. Lately I have heard the managers of the program talk about it will be impossible to get their participants jobs. I will use your article to help them realize they have to believe first in their participants' abilities to get employment. Then with your techniques from various articles we will start getting it right! You give me hope at an early time in the morning when the economy is bleak, the job market is crashing, and I can't sleep. But I will start a plan right now. Sleep can come later!! Thanks!