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Boomers and Matures Are In The Same Boat

When Looking For A Job

Gretchen Heuring | ElderThink | 12.10.08


It really doesn't matter how much older you are. If you are older than the employer, (or the person conducting an interview) he or she will consider you to BE


older man teaching forklifting


old. If you are fifty-five or seventy, you are viewed as "old" by someone who is forty.


According to the US Department of Labor, nearly 50% of all workers are under the age of 44. Another 18% falls into the 45-54 age range. That means you have a 70% chance of being interviewed and possibly working with people who are mostly younger than you are. You could be spending the majority of your time with youngsters who are critical, impatient and, let's say it, judgemental about grey hair and wrinkles.


It's Important To Be Technically Savvy


These days, many companies post their job applications on line. Employers decide who to interview based on the on-line application so be careful and thoughtful. If you are uncomfortable using a computer this way, take a course. There are lots of them available through Junior Colleges and Senior Centers. Knowing how to use a computer for email, the internet, and to compose documents can make all the difference. A common interview question for older adults is, "tell me about the last purchase you made on the web."


An Interview is A Big Deal


Apply as many places as you can, and keep track of where you applied and what your applications say. If you win an interview, you have a chance. Use it well.


Demonstrate patience and kindness. The person interviewing you is most likely to be younger and will not have your knowledge or expertise. Take every opportunity to explain what you do so he or she can learn from you. You want this person to recommend you for the job.


Be careful about overtalking. If you have been out of work for awhile, it's easy to forget and talk too much. Stay on topic.


Keep Looking - An Interview Is Not A Job


If you landed one interview, you can win another. Don't wait around, keep looking. These days, companies only notify someone if they want to make a hire or arrange a second interview. So hearing nothing can be taken as bad news.


You Are Wiser and Know More


Older workers do much better in training programs. We are more patient and more interested in learning new things. Unfortunately, not all employers know this, but if you are sincere and persistent in your job hunt, you will have a chance to show them.