How to get a job when you're over 50
As the cost of living keeps on rising, more people over the age of 50 – many of them early retirees – are job-hunting. And it goes without saying, there’s plenty these workers can bring to the table.
Maybe you’re looking for a job to take the pressure off, financially. Perhaps you want to make the most of the lifetime tax-free allowance for pension savings. Or who knows, you might just fancy a change.
Ready for the good news?
There are well over a million job vacancies across the UK (many offering the option to work remotely), so there’s no shortage of opportunities. But job-hunting might look a bit daunting from where you’re sitting.
From overcoming potential ageism to finding a role that offers the right work-life balance, here’s how to land the perfect role when you’re over 50.
Age brings experience
Let’s get this out of the way, straight off the bat: there’s no such thing as being overqualified. You’ll have picked up skills over the course of your career – and your life – that businesses are crying out for.
Maybe you’ve been around the block in a certain industry and you’re an expert with a particular piece of software. Or maybe you’ve worked at a similar company and you’re experienced enough to train new staff.
Whatever it is, chances are you’ve got the experience to add some serious value to a company. See your age as your superpower. Use experience to your advantage.
Oh, and don’t worry about age being an issue for an employer; they have legal obligations to not discriminate on the basis of age. It shouldn’t hold you back.
Decide what you want
Once you’re over the first hurdle, it’s time to think about the industry you’d like to work in, and what sort of role.
You might already know, or you could be open to whatever opportunity comes along. Either way, taking some time to define what you want to achieve and why can help focus your thinking – and your job search.
It could be as simple as working out whether you want to lean on your skills or past experience to find a similar role, or take a leap into the unknown and embrace something completely new.
Stick or twist? Do you just want to fill an empty couple of days each week, or get back to full-time hours? It’s your call.
While it might be what you’re used to, a full-time job isn’t the only option.
From volunteering to part-time, umbrella working and freelancing, there’s a world of choice out there with plenty of opportunities that you might not have thought about.
Sure, you might need to go back to the drawing board to figure out what you’re after. But there are options out there, either to help you readjust to working after some time off, or as a change of pace from your current job.
The range of options gives you the freedom and flexibility to take on the work that you want.
Sharpening your digital skills
Tech moves so fast nowadays that everyone can benefit from a refresher every now and then.
First up, explore any relevant training for the industry and job roles you’re looking at. Find a crash course on Microsoft Office to refresh yourself on Excel wizardry. Have a play with Powerpoint and make sure you know how to mute yourself on Teams (or Zoom) – we’ve all been there!
There’s also tonne of stuff out there that companies use to make remote working simple, like project management tools. Familiarise yourself with these, too. Once you’re up to speed, get that CV and LinkedIn profile up to date.
Tap up your networks
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Isn’t that what they say?
There’s no shame in approaching friends or former colleagues for advice, or even an intro. It beats coming in cold, that’s for sure.
Having someone in your corner who’s ready to vouch for you – or who knows, even offer you a role – could be a game-changer.
In short, don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s every chance it can offer you a fast and simple route to landing that dream job.
Where to start?
Even when you’ve built up the confidence to start looking for a new role, it’s difficult to know where to start.
Ready for more good news?
There are plenty of specialist recruitment agencies out there to help. Harvey Nash is a great place for experienced IT professionals to look. Other agencies – like Aspire – champion diversity and inclusion for older workers, too, while Rest Less is dedicated to getting older workers into jobs they love.
Then there’s Wise Age – a specialist charity campaigning for age diversity in the workplace and shouting about the benefits that seniors bring to the table. Just like Rest Less, they list age-friendly employers.
What are you waiting for?
In this economic climate, there are endless reasons to be positive about returning to work as an older, experienced candidate.
Best of all, there’s an abundance of opportunities and incentives, too. With recent changes to the lifetime allowance for pensions, working longer can pay dividends – now and in the future.
No matter how you choose to work, Caroola's here to support you. We’ll crunch the numbers so you can crack on and do what you do best.