Getting Back Into Employment: Tips For The Over Fifties

Getting Back Into Employment:  Tips For The Over Fifties

Getting back into Employment when you’re in your 50s can be a challenge. Here are some tips which will hopefully help you navigate the employment world, if you intend to re-enter.

  1. Pay heed to competence rather than age Sadly, ageism is still an issue, according to James Reed, CEO of the recruitment business Reed.

The law against age discrimination still leaves older job seekers vulnerable, he acknowledges.

Wherever you can, he advises diverting the focus away from your age and towards your ability.

There’s no need to draw attention to your age, even though you shouldn’t lie about it, he adds.

“Think about streamlining your CV and removing older experience that dates back more than 10 years, or eliminate dates in the portion detailing your education,” the recommendation reads.

Companies are permitted to inquire about your birthdate to determine, for example, if they are drawing in a diverse pool of candidates. However, the organisation Age UK advises that people maintain this separate from the application.

  1. Be honest about any pertinent health issues.
    It can be difficult if your illness was the basis of leaving your last employment. But, unless it could have a significant impact on your future employment, you shouldn’t really bring it up during the interview.

You are in charge of choosing how much information you provide, according to Manpower director Petra Tagg.

If having a medical history won’t interfere with your ability to carry out your responsibilities, it’s not necessary to reveal it, she adds.

But she advises being honest about any health issues that can limit your capacity to work or necessitate time off.

The head of Taurus HR, Laura Reilly, suggests keeping the explanations for leaving previous work brief and uplifting.

“Any disclosures can be made once an offer has been received, including any necessary changes for you,” she adds.

The time to report any health information you believe may have an effect on your ability to perform at work is when you are asked to complete a workplace adjustment assessment or form, according to Yvonne Smyth of the recruitment firm Hays. However, that normally occurs a little later on in the interviewing process.

  1. Improve your knowledge.
    According to James Reed, prejudicial queries about computer knowledge and abilities might sometimes be aimed at older workers.

He claims that it is worthwhile to develop skills in areas that employers value for this reason.

Using news alerts to stay current on changes in any given industry, he adds, will help you stand out from the competition during the interview process.

According to Stuart Lewis, CEO of Rest Less, a website that offers resources for jobs and volunteering for over-50s, participating in volunteer initiatives can help improve your abilities because you effectively receive on-the-job training in whatever technology is used.

Also, he suggests emphasising in your application that you’re interested in taking on new challenges and developing new abilities.

I converted my company to digital so I could continue to work after 60. Do not be afraid to request flexible scheduling.
Some elderly adults discover they lack the energy to work full-time, have caregiving obligations, or simply choose to work part-time.

So don’t be hesitant to request flexible hours. Employers might even anticipate it.

According to Tracy Riddell of the Centre for Ageing Well, businesses are becoming more and more aware that providing flexible scheduling helps retain older workers.

More information about requests for flexible working is available on the Acas website.

  1.  Remain imaginative
    Older job seekers shouldn’t rule out obtaining new professional credentials, according to James Reed. It might even signal the beginning of a completely new career, by demonstrating to potential employers your capacity to adapt and pick up new abilities.

For instance, apprenticeships are not just for young people. These are also doable for older workers and career changers.

Also, Clare McCartney from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development advises you to consider your “transferable skills.”

You might think about submitting applications for employment in several areas, she advises, if you have strong communication skills or a wealth of leadership experience, for instance.

Here is further information from the UK government on how to support older workers.

  1. Don’t sell yourself too short
    Older workers should aim to avoid falling into the trap of undervaluing themselves, according to Petra Tagg from Manpower.

According to her, older workers frequently have an advantage due to the depth of expertise they provide.

“Reminding yourself of what makes you stand out from the crowd is a quick and effective technique to create awareness and confidence in yourself and your own worth in situations where other, younger applicants may seem to have more to give,” she advises.

People may “bring out all the things you can do, and give real examples, rather than focusing on those you don’t have experience in,” according to her, by employing a job description.

In a recent proposal aiming to redefine work-life balance for individuals over 50, a Swedish-style three-day work week is being considered. This innovative approach, outlined on LifeOver50, suggests that individuals in their golden years can achieve greater flexibility and leisure time while still contributing meaningfully to the workforce


  • Stephen

    Stephen is now retired. He spent 25 years in community welfare and is one of the co-founders of life over 50. He has a keen interest in everything concerning this special age group.....and makes valuable contributions to the site. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, cycling and gardening. Also a keen jazz music lover!

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