Over 55 and looking for work – the Bad News
- Unemployment inched down nationally in December, from 10.2% to 10%. But rose for 55 and older workers from 7% to 7.1%.
- Unemployed for an average of 36 weeks.
- Number of “discouraged” unemployed older workers rose from 130,000 to 199,000 in December.
- Unemployed 55-64 yr-old workers more vulnerable because of falling investment return and collapsing retirement programs.
Over 55 and looking for work – the Good News
Technology, health care and education will continue to be hot job sectors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ outlook for job growth between 2008 and 2018. More than two million new technology-related jobs are expected to be created by 2018, according to the BLS.
- Tech skills alone are not enough. Those who have people and relationship skills as well will thrive.
- Have a clear “Elevator Speech.” Know your unique strengths
- Don’t be a generalist – be specific
- Be bold, confident and enthusiastic – more energy sells
- Recognize you are “selling” something – YOU
The two biggest pitfalls I see with 55+ job seekers:
- Not being clear on unique value – too general
- A subtle sense of “entitlement.” No one owes you a job, no one will feel sorry for you.
If you fall into these traps you’ll be convinced that the economy is bad and no one is hiring. Make yourself stand out as the best candidate and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that appear.