Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on NewRetirement.
Working as long as possible is a recommended retirement strategy for almost everyone.
There are so many benefits to working as long as possible, and they are not only financial. Working keeps you young, happy and healthy.
However, not everyone wants or needs to do it. And, finding a job after 50 can be hard. Here are some of the reasons why and tips for making it easier.
1. Know That Finding Work After 50 Can Be Hard
A study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that common barriers to employment for older workers can include:
Salary expectations that are too high
You have been working for a long time. You have built up your earnings. But, you may need to compromise on your pay as your skills might not be as up to date as they once were and pay for your job may not be as high as it once was.
- Maybe you can get more flexibility or ask for another kind of compensation.
It seems to be human nature to want to work with people who are like you.
- But to keep working, you may need to be comfortable rubbing elbows with people from different generations and make them comfortable with you.
Out of date skills
Technology and our culture is changing faster now than ever before in the history of humankind. Whether it is applying for a job via the web, email or a tweet … Or actually being able to operate the computer applications you might need for your desired career, technology and changes in technology can be completely overwhelming.
- It can be hard to keep up, but you must. And, the good news, is that if you can adapt to these new systems you are guaranteed to keep your brain in top working order. Learning new ways of doing things is arguably the best way to keep your brain young.
Expensive health benefits
The older we get, the more expensive health premiums can be. Companies can be reticent to bear the burden of those costs.
- Bigger companies will be less impacted than smaller firms.
Old habits (and ideas) die hard. We are only at the beginning of reinventing what it really means to be over 50, and stereotypes still exist. Unfortunately, many people still think of 50 as the beginning of decline rather than a vibrant time.
- Be aware of the biases and work hard to combat them.
2. Have an Optimistic Mindset to Find the Right Job After 50
Betty Friedan famously said, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
That kind of attitude is the exactly right ticket to a new job. You need to approach your job search wearing your experience as a badge of honor while also being open to the new.
Bonus! Having a great attitude about your age and aging can not only help you get the right job, research indicates that it can also keep you youthful! Psychology Today reports that: “Researchers identified that having positive self-perceptions about the benefits of getting older can create a self-fulfilling prophecy by helping someone stay mentally, physically, and psychologically younger.
3. Identify What Kind of Job You Want and Why
There are countless stories of people over 50 completely reinventing themselves. If you have always worked in sales, there is absolutely no reason why you have to stay in sales.
At this stage of your life, you are more you than you ever have been. Make sure that you are hunting for the job you really want.
Do you want to work for yourself? Part time or full? Is salary the most important consideration? Do you require benefits? What do you want to be doing and with whom?
4. Market Yourself and Network Online
You need to network and market yourself to find the job you really want. Nowadays, that usually means doing things online.
LinkedIn: Are you on LinkedIn? LinkedIn has become the de facto resume clearing house / online networking website. If you are looking for a job, put yourself on LinkedIn and network through your online connections.
Facebook/Instagram: Different people have different ideas about what is appropriate and comfortable for posting to social media. However, if you are job searching and you are comfortable doing so, post about what kind of job you are looking for.
Twitter: Many people network and make professional connections on Twitter. If you are job searching, it might be useful to get more active on this platform.
Your own website: If you are going into business on your own, you may need to create a website or some kind of online presence through Yelp or another platform.
5. Make Your Resume More Timeless
You don’t want to hide your experience, but taking the focus away from your age is probably a good idea for your resume. Here are a few ideas:
Make it short
A three-page resume with every job from the last 30-40 years is not necessarily the way to put your best foot forward. Career experts recommend shortening your resume. Only including relevant and recent work and experiences.
Eliminate graduation dates
Eliminate your graduation dates from schooling. They are not important.
Update your email address
Many of us created our personal email addresses 30 years ago and are still using them today. However, that address could be making you look old and unprofessional. Try to have an address that displays your first and last name and use a current domain like gmail.com.
Use your cell, not a landline
Sure, connectivity can still be a problem in places, but most 20-, 30- and 40-somethings only have a cellphone. Using a landline might highlight your age.
Include your social media info
Definitely give your LinkedIn URL. Hiring managers use this platform more than any other and they often want to see who you know and get a more complete picture of you online. If you are active professionally on other social media platforms, then include those too. (Don’t include if you primarily post for friends or family or a hobby unrelated to your career objectives.)
6. Give Yourself a Careful Makeover
Before heading off to an interview, consider carefully the appearance of your hair, shoes and clothes. You want to look timeless, not dated.
As most of us wear casual clothes at work these days, your interview suit is likely woefully out of date and could hurt your chances at a job.
7. Use Online Job Search Services
If you are looking for a more traditional career, here are numerous online resources that can help seniors find jobs:
Work Force 50: Workforce50.com has jobs and information to help navigate your job search or a search for a new direction. Search jobs by location or with one of our favorite employers.
Retired Brains: Find work from home, part time, seasonal and online retirement jobs as well as resources for starting your own business and more.
Retirement Jobs.com: The goal of RetirementJobs.com is to identify companies most-suited to older workers and match them with active, productive, conscientious, mature adults seeking a job or project that matches their lifestyle.
FlexJobs.com: FlexJobs is the leading job search site specializing in the best remote, part-time, freelance and flexible jobs available. Find a better way to work today!
8. Get Creative
As you near retirement, you may find that you can be more creative and flexible about your work. Could you:
- Benefit from passive income? Passive income streams can be the perfect income for retirement.
- Work from home? As you near retirement, you may want more and more flexibility. Working from home can give you just that.
- Work just part time? Part-time work is another great flexible option.
- Earn money online? The internet has not only revolutionized how people access information and buy products online, but also how people can make money and create their own side incomes.
9. Assess Your Reason for Work
Retirement is your time. It is important that you think carefully about how you want to spend these “golden” years.
Work has so many benefits beyond a salary. But that salary can be important for many of us. Make sure that you have a good understanding of your retirement finances. The NewRetirement Retirement Planner makes it easy to create a detailed plan and discover ways to retire securely
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