3 Things Companies Say Older Workers Should Do to Stay Employable

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Older woman at work
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Many older workers want — or need — to remain on the job as long as possible. But keeping your career moving forward can be difficult as you age and the workplace changes.

The best way to remain an asset in your employer’s eyes is to stay competitive. Older workers who keep pace with or surpass the output of younger workers will always be highly valued.

Recently, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies issued its annual retirement survey. As part of that report, Transamerica asked employers to recommend steps that older workers can take to ensure they will be able to work as long as possible.

Following are the tips that employers offer to today’s older workers.

1. Stay healthy

working out
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Employers who recommended that workers do this: 64%

Workers who said they do this: 58%

Perhaps you want to work well into your senior years. And maybe your employer would love to keep you on the job for many years to come.

However, poor health can quickly scuttle those work dreams. Almost one-quarter — 22.6% — of people 65 and older describe their health as fair or poor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So, take care of yourself, and make sure to avoid the “7 Fatal Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50.”

2. Keep your job skills current

Senior using a laptop
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Employers who recommended that workers do this: 62%

Workers who said they do this: 49%

The workplace is changing fast, with artificial intelligence threatening to upend how we do our jobs. That means it is more important than ever to keep your skills current.

It is interesting to note the large gap between the percentage of employers who recommend older workers brush up on their skills, and the smaller share of workers who say they actually are heeding that advice.

Need help getting started? Check out the “5 Colleges Helping Seniors Start New Careers.”

3. Perform well at your current job

Senior man working in agriculture
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Employers who recommended that workers do this: 60%

Workers who said they do this: 54%

As our hair grows grayer, it often seems like the world around us gets younger and younger. That fact can sometimes make it tempting to throw in the towel and let the whippersnappers take center stage.

But such a defeatist attitude is unlikely to make you more attractive to employers. Working hard and succeeding mightily at your current job every day is one of the best ways to ensure you remain employed.

Other recommendations from employers

Senior Student
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Here is the rest of the list, along with the share of employers who recommend that older workers engage in these behaviors.

  • Take classes to learn new skills: 43%
  • Network and meet new people: 35%
  • Attend virtual conferences and webinars: 27%
  • Obtain a new degree, certification or professional designation: 26%
  • Scope out the employment market and opportunities available: 24%