SELLING YOURSELF AS AN OLDER WORKER


A friend of mine recently fell victim to the age-old employment trap – losing the opportunity to stay on commission and earning at least $1,500 per week to having to accept a salary of $1,500 per month – a healthy saving for the company, and a disaster for himself.

“They call it downsizing,” he said, possibly wondering how he could afford my exorbitant fee for planning his economic recovery. “I suspect I’m also going to fall victim to ageism.”

My pal, who I know through my own networking activities, is getting a little long in the tooth, but compared to me he hasn’t yet shed his baby teeth. I sport a mouthful of tusks.

I told him that there are a number of things that should make you attractive to any employer. You need to draw attention to these as  you [ahem] write your resume, and allude to them as you conduct your interview. Here are eight  I can think of right off the bat that have to do with your working experience. Next week, I have some more tips that will show hot the relationships with supervisors, co-workers and clients can make you an ideal candidate for any position.

1. You are a living economic historian.

You experienced the boom times of the 60s and 70s, and you somehow survived oil crises, recessions, and bursting dot com bubbles. Through it all, you have helped right companies, and you can offer perspective on how to manage change.

2. You respect slow-downs.

You experienced them, and you learned that multitasking doesn’t work. You know how to motivate yourself and others to work hard and with a sense of focus. You can start to save a company before you need to save it. You know what actions to take.

3. You can be flexible.

Working part time might be an option depending on your finances.

4. You have experience in a variety of working lifestyles

You remember lunches in the bar and working and you witnessed changes in political correctness, you learned poli-speak and you no longer expect to have one job for the rest of your life, and every day on the job can be a challenge.

5. You’re used to challenges.

You CAN make it through the work day without beer

6. You have computer skills.

Yet, younger and goofier people probably have better skills. You were born with a slide rule in your mouth, while younger people had play stations. Big deal. You have sales and leadership skills. Tech isn’t everything.

7. You have confidence.

You know how to work. You don’t need constant affirmations and micro managing, however, if they want to micromanage, you can handle it because you’ve learned how to accept feedback.

8. You are fit and healthy.

You probably got into being fit for all the right reasons (to meet other women or men) but the side effects are what kept you chugging along into your advancing years.

Next week, more about selling yourself as an older worker – including how to avoid being a threat.

 

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

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2 Responses to “SELLING YOURSELF AS AN OLDER WORKER”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Great work, Mike. #6 is always the one that trips me up. They don’t want someone they have to teach. They want someone who knows how to use all the new media sources/programs.

  2. mikebroderick Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, anyone with a hotmail account and a hundred followers on Twitter is an expert in social media. It’s a process, not a degree. I wouldn’t consider it lig on your resume.

    You were right about not taking that bozo to court. There is another court, however. Blog about it and send him a link!

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