Over 50 and Looking for Work

By Sherri Sacks

“I’m too old, no one wants to hire me.”

“They only want to hire younger people who they can pay less than they would have to pay me.”  

“They know I am overqualified for the position, so they assume I won’t stay at the job long. “

These are just some of the statements I hear from many of my middle aged unemployed clients.  So, what do you do when you are over 50 to show that you have a positive outlook and tenacious disposition?

  • Watch your attitude. Whether you bump into someone at the market or at a networking event, make sure you always seem positive and enthusiastic. You never know when someone will know someone else they can introduce you to for networking purposes.
  • Look on the bright side. Consider this time as a period to heal and grow.  Out of something bad might come something good, so welcome the opportunity to pursue a new career or sharpen your skills through continuing education classes.
  • Don’t be overly sensitive. Realize unemployment is not a reflection on you. This is a hard concept for some people to process. Change does not always come easy.  But if we begin to learn to think of the glass half full instead of empty, the process of change can be less overwhelming and more achievable.
  • Make the time. Create a routine or schedule for yourself and make sure you follow it. Looking for a job is a full-time job. Consider volunteering or  attending networking groups you can find through Meetup.com.
  • Be willing to compromise. Consider a part time job until you find your dream job. Working part time while you are seeking a full time position can help elevate your self-esteem.
  • Stay current. Some questions to consider:  Do you appear to be old school? Are your computer skills outdated? Are you current with trends in your industry? Is your LinkedIn profile updated? Are you aware of the key words and terms to use on your resume and LinkedIn profile?

Your mindset is critical when looking for a job.  Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” An optimistic approach is important in everything you do because attitude determines success.


Sherri Sacks is a Career Strategist and Certified Resume Writer.

Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go farther and get there faster.  Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition.  For information, call 410-466-9200 or visit ignitecareercenter.com


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