What to Know About Finding Job after 40
You have more than a decade of work experience at the tip of your fingers. You have developed valuable skills, a solid network of excellent people, and a track record that others in your industry would envy. So why are you so scared of looking for a job after 40?
Maybe you think that employers will consider you too old or too expensive, or you’re worried you are not up to date with the trends.
Research shows older workers experience unemployment longer than younger workers. That shows there’s a hitch in their job search and going in with blind faith and zero regard for the changing times is completely detrimental to the search.
But unless you’ve got retirement in your five-year plan, you need to be fulfilled in your work life.
You need to know a few things about finding a job in your 40s and ways to better your chances of landing a job later in life. Here are some of them:
You might be approaching your peak earnings
By the time you hit your 40s, you’re likely to be making the maximum amount of money a person with your work experience ever will and this is regardless of gender.
The interviewer or boss could be younger than you
As the workforce continues to change, your interviewer or boss may likely be younger than you. A question that may be running through your mind right now is ‘will I be able to work diligently with one? But you need to know that younger interviewers have this job because they earned it, and you would like to respect their experience and position and show that you’re excited to get on their team.
Remember when older workers feel valued for their contributions; it doesn’t matter the age of the person who provides the recognition.
The most important thing is that the standard rules of interviews still stand no matter your age. So be excited about the position, exhaust all resources to find out about the organization, and don’t be afraid to start a conversation.
Volunteering is looked at with admiration
Volunteering and community service have become symbolic in our present time. As the job market gets increasingly competitive, the over-40 crowd can differentiate themselves with extracurricular activities. These altruistic efforts are looked on with envy even more than your net worth. That is all the more reason to fill that volunteering section on your resume and LinkedIn profile as your volunteerism could help you seal the deal.
What you may have known about resumes is now outdated
If you’ve been in a job for so long, your resume will be a little dusty. You have to get it out and begin your update by reviewing how you wrote your past work experiences. Forget everything you know about resumes as your resume from 2003 is irrelevant, outdated, and detrimental to your over-40 job search. That objective statement listed under your contact information has to be removed and replaced with a robust summary statement that highlights your skills and professional work experience. Those graduation dates on your resume have to go forever, delete them. The paragraphs you have under every job title, break them out into short bullet points instead.
Do you have jobs listed that may sound unfamiliar now? Take time and see your resume through the eyes of a stranger. Make sure anyone reading your resume understands all your past responsibilities and if you elaborate do so, or maybe cut jobs that don’t have an impact on your career story. Make your resume more visible to recruiters
One of the primary things people that are looking for jobs should do is update and modernize their resumes. It’s often the only first impression a hiring manager or interviewer gets of you, so you do your best and make sure it does you justice.
In a nutshell, the best way to stand out among other applicants looking for work is to tailor your resume to a specific job. Keep your resume to at least one page, and do not include your entire work history. But if you’ve got tons of experience, emphasize the experience that applies to the job requirements.
You must capitalize on your earnings
‘Too much’ is contextual to how experienced you’re, the market demand for your skills, and the way you’re good at your job. If you would like to have a high compensation, make your prospective employer feel that they’re going to get an honest deal reciprocally. Discuss how you’ll take on additional responsibility, drive improved results and justify the increased spending on their side.
You have to know your worth and understand your value before you go into an interview, or even apply for a job that won’t pay you what you deserve.
It could take months to find a job
If you plan to be in the job marketplace for longer than expected while you are looking for a new job, it won’t seem so disheartening because you know what to expect from the beginning. The average person takes six months to find a job and that might seem like a long time, but in reality, the estimate is not far off. Even if you’re lucky to get a response from the first job application email you sent, the hiring process will likely take weeks. So make sure you and your family can withstand the laborious process because it rarely produces instantaneous results.
It’s not just a nine to five anymore
The 9-to-5 workday is gone and in addition to learning new skills, people in their 40s who find themselves back in the job market must be open to working flexible schedules in newer, more innovative environments. Before technology became popular, employers were satisfied with employees who worked from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Every other urgent matter after that time could wait till the next morning.
Today, we get email on our phones, and therefore the workday is increasingly becoming flexible. More employees are working from home and some of them are abandoning the rigid guidelines to remain at the office late into the night to finish a task. People in their 40s must demonstrate they are ready to handle flexibility and regulate their workload with the stress of outside life.
It’s not too late to make a radical career change
For whatever reason you find yourself thinking about a new career, change at any age is intimidating. There is still time to make a move to get new skills or to find a way to learn about an industry you have not been in yet. You are experienced enough to maneuver your skillset to something else. The key is to stay nimble and not get complacent. Keep growing. Keep taking risks. Keep demonstrating your willingness to learn new things and you’ll have the ability to negotiate your way to new opportunities when it comes.
If you’re over 40, avoid making your age your primary focus and acknowledge your assets. Realize that your maturity, self-motivation, and overall life experience bring more to the table than the bulk of the younger people trying to find a job. Choose a career that’s aligned with your passion and values, and prepare for job interviews with the confidence that comes with experience.
Employers are looking for a specialty
Have value as an applicant by offering a specialty because finding a job in a new field is all about selling yourself and because of your age, prospective employers will expect you to bring more to the table. Maintain a positive attitude once you attend interviews or talk with recruiters. Demonstrate that you believe in yourself and convey it through your self-confidence. In an interview or meeting with a prospective employer, demonstrate your ability to learn new things and you can include a link to your personal website in your resume. This displays your willingness to gain technological knowledge.
To effectively prove your value as a seasoned workhorse, you want to have a specialty. You create your own job security by having in-demand expertise and serving as an employee who will personally alleviate their employer’s headaches. Any effective over-40 job seeker should make an attempt to highlight their specialty. A company may have a tight budget, but they’ll pay more to someone who brings value by resolving their most pressing problems.
You have an edge over any millennial and are more productive than younger candidates
Your age is your weapon against millennial job seekers and there is no correlation between advancing age and declining work productivity. Be innovative and demonstrate your ability to steer/ lead, enhance productivity with the process or system improvements, get things done quickly, and save a lot or make the organization money.
If you’re in your 40s, you grew up half in and half out of the digital age, meaning you have skills from each side, like using actual words to communicate but also being able to learn technology.
A great way to express your worth to a prospective new boss is by having your “elevator pitch” ready. Start with an appraisal of your skills, talents, abilities, and professional work experience. Practice in front of a mirror, or with a loved one who will proffer an honest opinion on your delivery. Remember you don’t want to undersell yourself. So make sure you’re talking about all your best qualities, and get ready to give an outstanding pitch.
Make an inventory of potential jobs that fit well with your skills and experience. Compare these jobs against your personal values and passions to get the right ones. Your confidence and life experience will make you more appealing to employers who desire reliable and mature workers. Your age is a plus when choosing a career because you already know your strengths and weaknesses and what you enjoy doing.
Beware of Ghosting
It is time we all learn about professional ghosting because it is a new trend in the professional world. This is when an individual suddenly disappears and ceases all forms of communication, denying you any hope of closure regarding an ongoing process. It’s already a standard phenomenon within the dating world, but it’s become increasingly prevalent within the hiring industry, as well. Have you gone on any interviews lately? Are you still waiting for a response?
For those over 40 that are out of work will be surprised to see that such a trend is gaining ground. And though there are a couple of ways to combat such travesties, over-40 job seekers will have to come to terms with the very fact that they won’t always receive a response from a prospective employer or hiring manager, no matter how far along they’ve gone in the hiring process.
You might have to tackle age discrimination
Yes, age discrimination is unfortunate and by the time you reach your 40s, you would possibly have a taste of age discrimination in the workforce. And unfortunately, older workers experience unemployment longer than younger employees, as organizations sometimes correlate age with the term “washed up.”
Yes, there are laws to guard against it but it doesn’t always stop organizations from thinking about it. Focus on your strengths, not what you’re lacking. Do you have the qualifications? Can you bring value to this position? If you’re a subject-matter expert or you have specific skills, play that up in your resume or communications with an interviewer. It’s easy to put your focus on why you cannot get the position, but the trick is to not let that frustrate you.
Salary negotiation looks a little different
Salary negotiation looks different now for the over-40 crowd because, by the time you hit your 40s, you likely have a lot of achievements on your resume to command a high salary. But at this point, there are children’s college tuition and other impending expenses to consider. Even more than the actual annual salary, you’ve got the power to barter or negotiate bonus incentives, vacation time, stock options, or profit-sharing. This is the time you’ll want to conduct intense research to remain up to date on your industry and examine whether you truly have the new skills that require, and warrant, such high pay.
You’ll have to learn new tricks
If you see that you are out of a job longer than expected, use that time to gain a valuable new skill. For millennials, it’s assumed they know how to handle technology, but interviewers will have some questions concerning technology from older applicants. So stay on top of your industry, and delve into areas relevant to your career. This also helps if you want to make a transition into another industry. Make it clear you value learning and would apply the new skills in various ways.
Consider additional training or schooling to get the job you desire. While many roles do not exist anymore due to changes in the economy, new jobs have emerged due to advances in technology. Many over-40 workers are becoming trained in fields like personal coaching, information technology, and social media strategy. Training and certification for most of these skills are often completed in only a couple of short months.
You have to get social and tech-savvy
If you’ve been avoiding the social aspect of your over-40 job search, it’s time to stop avoiding social media and technology. Most times, employers rely on social profiles to screen potential candidates. If you’re invisible on social media, you may be overlooked for an interview.
It’s not mandatory for you to be on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But you want to create a presence on LinkedIn as this will help recruiters find you and verify your online application more quickly.
Make sure you can use work-related apps like Slack, Zoom, Dropbox, and others. Your tech knowledge shouldn’t be lacking so that there is no excuse for hiring companies or managers to take you.
Use your network
There are three strategies that successfully land people jobs which are networking, answering ads, and working with recruiters. But these methods are only worthwhile if they’re used effectively and proactively. So sending your resumes alone to organizations’ websites will do nothing for you. The trick here is to use your network of colleagues, former business associates, and friends to get information about organizations that are hiring and can have a real interest in what you can do for them. This method does work as one of the best things you can do when you’re in search of a new job. Networking online may be a good way to get into the game, so if you haven’t created a LinkedIn profile, you ought to get one going now. Sign up for professional groups which may hold networking events in your field. Talk to old friends you haven’t connected with lately, and see how their contacts could be useful. There are no reasons to hold back from talking about your need.
In summary, searching for a new job may feel like a mission impossible, it’s time to clear your brain from all the misconceptions and limitations about job searching.