Hello, Dr. Centore – Thank you for your assistance with this article. I am basically needing a few pieces of advice for adults aspiring to change their careers.
What are some of the challenges older/more established individuals face today on the job market?
Older applicants face a number of challenges in today’s job market. First, they need to overcome unfair biases and prove that they have kept up with changes in their industry, and with technology. Second, older applicants must show potential employers that they’re nimble enough to learn new skills, and have the energy level required to succeed at their job. Finally, it’s not uncommon for older applicants to request higher compensation than their entry-level counterparts; this can create barriers in some job markets.
What are some ways one should prepare before re-entering the job market?
Older applicants possess some valuable assets in today’s job market, and they need to lead with these strengths. For instance, an older applicant is likely to possess a consistent work history, strong references, and a track record of vocational success. Younger applicants will struggle to bring this to the table. Also, older applicants may interview better than their green counterparts, because they’ve done it before–this won’t be their “first rodeo”, so to speak.
Do you know of any online resources they should consult prior to job hunting?
Monster.com is still the “800 lb gorilla” for finding job openings. However, Indeed.com and Craigslist.org are two websites that shouldn’t be overlooked. Also, Salary.com is a great resources to give job-seekers a realistic perspective of what persons in their field are currently earning.
Is there anything else you wish to add that you think job seekers should know?
As an older applicant, you bring something to the table that younger applicants don’t–life and work experience. It is crucial in the interview process to clearly articulate how that experience will directly and specifically benefit your employer. If you can do this well, you will create for yourself a strong advantage against other applicants.