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Looking for a Job and More Experienced Than Some?

I have blogged a couple of times about the impact of the retiring boomers, the skills shortages, the war for talent and the fact that does not necessarily translate into labour shortages. Recently I have met with some very qualified people who find themselves looking for work in an uncertain economy and perhaps their work experience has been with one or two large organizations. This is a scary place to be.

I have several blog entries over the past year that I would like to pull together here because they are very relevant to people who find themselves "looking for work" a little later on in their working life. This can happen for many reasons, the many layoffs that we have seen as companies have been readjusting to fiscal realities in a global economy, the affect of disruptive technologies or just people that have chosen to accept a retirement package from a long term employer.

Some time ago I wrote a blog about the reality that "progress" can hurt, and many people have found themselves in this situation. I was also asked recently to comment on the subject of looking for work as an older worker. Whatever the reason people find themselves in this situation they are faced with a challenge that is new to them. Here are some thoughts I have on the subject:

1. The demographic shift mentioned in previous blogs does mean that opportunity is going to be plentiful ... the million dollar question has to be when? If I knew the answer to that I could "clean up"!
2. Looking for work today requires a mindshift ... a different way of looking at the world. Just because you were an accountant for twenty years that does not mean that your next job needs to be in that role.
3. You need to park your ego ... the goal of the exercise is to get a job, hopefully with a company that can offer you a challenge. If the title isn't there, or the salary is less than you want maybe you should take it and look for opportunity to grow.
4. Looking for a job is a full time job.
5. If you have a good resume that is good ... but if you are flexible with your skills you might want to customize several different resumes dependant upon what you are looking for.
6. NETWORK! Get out and tap into everyone that you know, and everyone that they know. (A 21st Century tip ... try LinkedIn, a social network tool).
7. You need to "sell" yourself to your prospective employer. Your messages, your resume your demeanor all need to say "Hire me!"
8. The more you get out and try your messages the easier it will get. Try them out on friends, family and other non-threatening people first.
9. The staffing industry is a great way to get a job. The ACSESS (Canadian Staffing Industry) website lists all of their members by region and specialization. There is also the Association of Executive search Consultants to consider.
10. Some staffing companies are setting up divisions just to handle the demand for older workers (read experienced, mature and stable). A little internet research will turn them up.

Some time ago I also gave some advice about how to get to the interview stage, and another blog entry was about the interview itself. Believe in yourself ... if you don't, then how will other people!

Hope this is useful ... please remember these are Kevin Dee's thoughts on the subject, others may have equally valid ideas!