Baby Boomer Candidates
It can feel like a jungle out there for job seekers. But for candidates who are in the Baby Boomer age range of 55+, it can seem the odds are even more stacked. Many of us don’t expect to retire until at least 68 or older. And with many of us seeing ageism creep into the picture as early as our 40s, that’s a long time to fight for the right to be valued for our work experience.
We compiled a few tips to help you reframe your job search after 55 that may help:
Show your adaptability
Stereotypes that surround 55+ job seekers often have to do with being out of touch and resistant to change. Even if the job you want isn’t particularly technical, those of us who weren’t born with an iPhone in our hand (non-digital natives) have an inherent hurdle to overcome convincing employers that we’re technically forward-thinking enough for the modern workplace. You may need to proactively reskill in certain areas to prove you’re innovative and adaptable.
Sell your soft skills
Employers report that soft skills like leadership, communication, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence are desperately lacking in young workers. In fact, it’s a top complaint among organizations that employ tech talent. Exploit that finding by shining a light on the soft skills you’ve built up through years of experience, particularly when competing in notoriously “young” industries like tech. This Glassdoor article highlights some great soft skill areas that might be your key to success.
Find employers who value age diversity
Many companies today flaunt their diversity initiatives, but age diversity isn’t necessarily part of that equation. PwC research found that while 64% of CEOs report having diversity and inclusion initiatives in place, a mere 8% include age as part of their efforts. SHRM lists these tips that can indicate your age may be a problem when applying for a certain organizations or roles, from job applications asking for GPAs to benefits that appeal mostly to younger workers.
Consider work alternatives
Are you searching for a job at 55+? Ask yourself: Do you need to work fulltime and in the same job you’ve always done? Many Baby Boomers are discovering alternatives that suit them much better than how they’ve traditionally worked. These include finding contract positions or temporary employment that offer more flexibility than a permanent job, and even serving as executive consultants, interim executives and advisory board members.
“Age is the one discriminating factor that we’ll all face at some point,” says The HT Group President Chad Macy. “Thankfully, employers are starting to realize that, and the smart ones are also realizing that valuing experienced workers can become a competitive advantage in today’s tight job market.”
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