Smart ways a boomer can find a job after 50

It is no secret to us as baby boomers that the older we get, the harder it is to get a new job. But Harriet Edleson has written about this challenge for our friends at NextAvenue.org, and offers Smart Ways to Find a Job After 50.

Finding work after 50 continues to be challenging, but it can be done.

boomer_jobIf you’re stuck in the attach-your-resumé-and-hit-the-send-button mode, heed advice from Atlanta’s Blake Nations, CEO of Over50JobBoard.com. Nations, 59, knows whereof he speaks.

Three years ago, the former medical recruiting executive was out of work. Despite a 25-year career working in the recruiting field, Nations wound up taking an entry-level recruiting job which paid far less than what he’d earned before. In fact, the pay was so low, he took a “supplemental” part-time job at a grocery store.

Nations says many other laid-off boomers are finding themselves in similar straits. “They’re having to look at other options,” he notes.

Sites like his — such as Aarp.org, Workforce50.com and the 50+ filter at SimplyHired.com — are specifically targeting 50+ job seekers.

 Harriet Edleson

Harriet Edleson

Look for industries, and specific companies, that are ‘reshoring.’ These are manufacturers bringing jobs back to the U.S. or planning to do so.

Through his industry connections and word of mouth, Nations says his site lists job openings at companies that “are over-50 friendly.” They include the likes of Macy’s, Comcast, CVS, Home Depot, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, Kroger, and La Quinta Inns and Suites. Its job categories include customer service (16,041 jobs recently), management (2,619), manufacturing (858), education (855), and accounting (384).

But Nations says sites like his are just a first step for job hunters, who should use them “to find out who is hiring.” Then, he says, you need “to be aggressive” by going into prospective employers’ offices and meeting people.

“If you can get in front of people, that’s always going to be good,” he says.

Nations’ advice: Once you know what job you’d like to have at a local employer, find out who the supervisor is and try to meet with him or her for 15 minutes. If you can’t even get someone on the phone to get the supervisor’s name, says Nations, “Just walk in, saying, ‘I want to leave my resumé’.”

working_laptop_hHe adds, “You can’t worry about what anybody thinks. You just have to go out there. If you’re sitting at home, you have to take these kind of measures.”

Nation suggests you try to find someone who works where you want to and can tell you who the hiring manager is. This is especially useful, he says, if you live in a small town or rural area.

He also says you shouldn’t rule out a lower-paying job than the last one you had if the new position will let you get your foot in the door and there are opportunities to move up quickly.

Another way to find work now: Look for industries, and specific companies, that are “reshoring.” These are manufacturers bringing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas or planning to do so.

According to Harold Sirkin, a Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, reshoring industries include computers and electronics, transportation equipment, appliances and electrical equipment, furniture and fabricated metal equipment.

volvo-logoVolvo, for instance, has chosen Berkeley County, South Carolina, for its first manufacturing facility in the Western hemisphere. The plant is expected to create 2,000 jobs in the next decade and as many as 4,000 by 2030.

Industry analysts agree that the reshoring moves are “driven by China,” as Sirkin describes it. With wages there rising faster than productivity and steep transportation costs, China has become less attractive as a place for manufacturing, he says.

To find firms that might be reshoring, or hiring near you in general, set up Google Alerts for news about local employers. In addition, read the business pages or website of your newspaper to keep informed about which industries are moving in and which are likely to be hiring.

© Twin Cities Public Television. All rights reserved.

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4 Comments on "Smart ways a boomer can find a job after 50"

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Criss
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Funny thing here — age discrimination by law protects people over age 40. That implies that discrimination based on age begins before age 50. But these resources catch people at age 50+ so there’s a limbo between age 40-50 where you don’t have extra resources, but you can still be discriminated against due to age. Obviously it’s probably a grey area in your early 40s if you take things like graduation dates off your resume and present younger. But employers often actively seek out people who are earlier in their career.

kerry baker
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Taking graduation dates off doesn’t do much good. They just ask you or assume if it’s not there, you’re old (I used to be a recruiter.)

Terilee Henderson
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Tayloring your resume’ to the last 10 yrs of work experience and “dumbing down” your qualifications are all great advice. However, the bottom line is IF you manage to get face-to-face with the hiring manager (forget HR- they’re useless)…..your face/ age don’t lie. Age discrimination is real to the point that some employers try to sneak around the laws on the online app by asking “Are you at least 45?” If you don’t check the box- no tickey no laundry….you can’t submit your application.

Florence Lince
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This article keeps the old adage that any job will do. Not so. At this age I no longer want a job, I want something meaningful and fun do to. I have a lot of experience and a lot of talent to share with the right company, and I tell them so in my cover letter. I also don’t apply for every job under the sun. The job has to be special. Does this approach work? Yes. Looked for work for two weeks and landed the job I went into the office to apply for. My age was never a… Read more »
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