Older Job Seeker: Your Age is an Advantage, Not a Liability

Thank you Patricia Edwards, for this wonderful, upbeat blog filled with great advice for 50+ job seekers! *REBLOG*

JOB SEARCH STRATEGY TO GET HIRED

Marty was adamant that she was not landing a job interview in her field of technology solutions marketing due to her age.  When she called, she told me that she expected me to disagree with her but I didn’t.  Silence on the other end of the phone followed when I replied, “Marty, I agree it could be a strong factor why you have not heard from one of the 16 companies you contacted or submitted applications to.” “Oh?, she replied.  “Tell me more and how you can help.”  So I did.

Yes – job seekers over 50 have a tougher time finding work but there is good news.

 The Age Advantage

Both recruiters and hiring managers are changing their attitudes towards older job candidates.  Many are impressed by decades of experience and they know the benefits of an older employee include:

  • better attendance
  • company loyalty
  • less drama

In…

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December 2018 Recommended Reads

Hi everyone, just a quick heads up on a book you might be interested in… Great Jobs for Everyone 50 +, Updated Edition: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy…and Pays the Bills 

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Photo Credit: Kerry Hannon & Amazon.com

The author, Kerry Hannon, is a nationally recognized expert and strategist on career transitions, entrepreneurship, personal finance and retirement. We found her through AARP, and this article: 6 Solid Part-Time Job Options Options for workers to fit all skills and schedules

We hope this book suggestion is helpful to you and your 50+ career success. And remember…A Little Silver Is Career Gold!

Until next time…

Lisa & Anthony 

50+ Career Style For Men and Women

 

This blog post is geared toward the 50+ job seeker or worker who feels a little unsure about workplace style. Obviously, not everyone over 50 has a hopeless sense of style…that’s not what we are implying at all. Some readers likely have a better career style than we do! If that is you, please share your tips and helpful links in the comment section. We want to hear from you, and invite you to help others through this post. If you have always worked and are finding that you are not sure what to wear in a career setting now that you’ve leveled up to 50+, this blog is for you. If you are just getting back out there at 50+, and feel you may have an outdated career style, this one is also for you. Everyone, feel free to comment, ask questions, and interact with other readers in the comment section. We are here to help each other!

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General Style Tips For 50+ Men: First and foremost, your work style should match the job and the work environment. Some workplaces have uniforms, and/or extremely casual styles. If that is the case, the interview/business casual sections below will be helpful to you, but probably for your job interview(s) only. 50+ job seekers should pay close attention to choosing styles that are well fitting (neither too tight or too loose), comfortable, and never, ever too “young”. You are not 25, and no one expects you to dress in the same styles as younger men. Jewelry should always be limited to a wedding band, and/or school ring, and a watch for interviews and on the job. Shoes…quality and comfort are key. Even if you are on a tight budget, it pays to spend a bit more for your shoes (as your finances will allow).

General Style Tips For 50+ Women: Career style for 50+ women can be much more of a quagmire than it is for men. Women’s fashion trends are much more pronounced and tend to swing more wildly from season to season than do trends for men. The idea for 50+ women, and really ALL women is to avoid frumpy clothing, but don’t be a fashion victim either when it comes to career wear. Think on-trend, not trendy, well fitting and tasteful, and when in doubt you can never go wrong with a classic style of dress. If you look sharp, but no one can pinpoint which decade you belong to, you are onto something. As with younger women in the workplace, makeup and jewelry should be light and tasteful, and as with 50+ men in the workplace, comfort is critical. Choose comfort over fashion, especially when it comes to shoes.

In this next section, we’ve compiled some links and tips and example ensembles for three major career situations you will find yourself in. We both have had very good luck over the years with JCPenney when shopping for career wear. Penney’s is by no means the only place to shop, but we are recommending it because we think it’s a great department store where both men and women, and budget conscious shoppers can find a stylish and age appropriate career wardrobe.  No-frump, career appropriate JC Penney brands to look for are Worthington, Liz Claiborne, and (sometimes) St. John’s Bay for women, and Stafford, Van Heusen, and (sometimes) St. John’s Bay for men.

SAMPLE ENSEMBLES FOR MEN AND WOMEN

The Interview – Men

A suit and tie and dress shirt, or dress slacks, dress shirt and a sport coat with tie are the standard here. In very casual or uniformed workplace environments, a suit is too much. In that case, dress slacks, a dress shirt, and sport jacket, with tie is more appropriate. Also, in some cases, dress slacks, dress shirt, with no tie or jacket is the better option.

Suit Separates: Stafford Suit Separates – Medium Gray- No Vest

Dress Shirt: Van Heusen Long Sleeve White Dress Shirt

Tie: Stafford Geometric Tie (any of these colors)

Dress Shoes: Stafford Black Classic Oxford Shoes

The Interview – Women

An at, or slightly above the knee skirt, or career trousers and career blouse are perfect interview attire. We think a matching career blazer is optional, and in some workplace environments can be too much. Use your judgement there. A dress for interview is the less desirable option, but can still be worn if it is an appropriate, no frills, conservative length and neckline style (see example below).

Skirt: Worthington Pencil Skirt (in black or gray)

Blouse: Worthington Modern Fit Long Sleeve Blouse (White) *Women’s blouses these days tend to be very sheer–even career blouses. Plan on wearing a camisole or tank underneath. If the blouse is TOO sheer, choose a different blouse.

Trousers: Worthington Perfect Trousers (in black or gray)

Shoes: Hush Puppies Black Leather Low Heel Pumps

Blazer (optional): Worthington Essential Flap Pocket Blazer (in black or gray, matching skirt or trousers)

Dress: Worthington 3/4 Sleeve Fit and Flare Style (any shade)

Jewelry: Monet Gold Tone Two Piece Set (choose a similar silver tone set if you prefer silver)

Everyday At Work – Men

Pants: Docker’s Classic Flat Front Pants (any shade)

Shirt: Docker’s Long Sleeve Button Down (or any similar solid color long sleeve button down shirt)

Shoes: Docker’s Leather Casual Shoes

Tie (optional, based upon work environment) Any coordinating solid tie, no bright colors or crazy patterns.

Everyday At Work – Women

Pants: Worthington Perfect Trousers (see Interview style)

Top: Liz Claiborne Long Sleeve Beaded Keyhole Blouse (any color)

Shoes: Aerosoles Ballet Flats

Dresses: Maya Brooke 3/4 Sleeve Embellished Jacket Dress

Earrings: Monet Drop Earrings

Casual Days…A lot of workplace environments do relax the dress code on Fridays. Some even encourage casual day dress every day. This is where a lot of men and women get into trouble, we think. It’s hard to know what to wear! A general rule of thumb is casual but structured and polished–NOT the same things you’d wear on the weekend or around the house. Jeans are fine, but stick with dark wash or trouser denim, never too tight, and NO rips or tears. Never athleisure wear or shorts, and use good judgement on cropped pants and capris, ladies. 

Casual Friday – Men

Lee Regular Fit Straight Leg Jeans (dark wash only)

Van Heusen Flex Long-Sleeve Polo Shirt

Dockers Vargas Mens Boat Shoes

Casual Friday – Women

St. John’s Bay Bootcut Jeans (dark wash)

Liz Claiborne Long Sleeve Split Crew Neck Floral Top (any color or pattern)

Journee Womens Ankle Boots

Mixit Drop Earrings

50+ Style Advice

Men: Bellatory–2019’s Best Style for Older Men and Real Men Real Style–Style Advice For Men Over 50

Women: Susan After Sixty (Susan has great everyday office and casual day looks) and The Style For Work (great ensembles, but watch out for tight or off shoulder styles)

The preceding is by no means a comprehensive guide to 50+ career wear. It’s simply a jumping off point. We hope readers will weigh in and augment what we’ve presented here. This is a blog post we’d love to see stay active indefinitely, with comments from a diverse cross section of 50+ job seekers and workers. Please be sure to add your tips, stories of your hits and misses, and any recommended websites, bloggers, and influencers. 

Until Next Time!

~Anthony and Lisa

Over 50 And Looking For A Job? 10 Tips For Success

Do not give up, even though it may take a while. How long? There is no once size fits all answer. However, according to The Balance Careers, “Over time, experts have estimated it would take very, very roughly one month to find a job for every $10,000 of the paycheck you would like to earn. So, in theory, if you were looking to earn $60,000 a year, your job search could take six months.” Remember…finding the right fit for you is more likely to be a marathon, not a sprint! 

Take care of yourself, eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Visit the Healthy Living section of AARP’s website for free content tailored specifically to the 50+ job seeker: AARP Healthy Living

Find time to relax. If you appear to be stressed out, it will show! Relaxation: 6 Relaxation Tips To Reduce Stress Fake It Till You Make It: Makeup Tricks To Make You Look Less Tired

Decide what types of jobs you are “currently qualified for” and “willing” to do. In Need of a Change? The Complete Guide To Career Change After 50 Finding Yourself After 50? Which Career Is Right For Me?

Research the employers that hire those types of jobs and learn everything you can about the industry, the work, and especially how they hire people (most public libraries have free Internet). Google is your friend here. Research employers on their websites, find their job ads and study them. What keywords pop up frequently? What can you read between the lines? Read news articles and research competitors within the industry. Their websites and news articles about the organizations are a wealth of information on what they truly value, such as vision, mission, etc. 

Apply to jobs using methods that they favor based on your research, follow-up, and apply to others. Follow application instructions to the letter. Now is not the time to showcase your creativity in circumventing their process. Human Resources is your friend (as long as you aren’t a headache for them). 

However you decide to apply, make sure you present yourself honestly and in a fully professional manner (both on paper and in person). Don’t Even Go There: Lying On Your Resume–Here’s How You’ll Get Caught Dress For Success: Dressing For Interviews

Network with professionals in the field and let them know you are looking. Two Words–Linked In. YES, you do need a Linked In Profile! It’s free, and it’s essential. One word of advice on Linked In…This is not the place for pictures of your cat and grandchildren. No bad language, no politics, no unprofessional online behavior. Your potential employer is watching, and it matters! Linked In is the place for being yourself, but the professional you. Join professional groups, post industry related articles, participate in professional Q&A…Get noticed! Once you have your profile set up (complete with professional looking headshot), add the link to your resume. Get On Linked In Today: Your Professional Online Presence

Be creative and dedicated in your search efforts.  Wishing or getting angry, or depressed, will not help get you a job. Read positive news stories, read positive books, follow positive Facebook pages, and interact with positive people! Check out this guy we just found today…it’s his actual name: Mr. Positive’s Blog

Believe in yourself! 1d4c9d57837bb77b202f2a687bbc0ec8

Until Next Time…

Lisa & Anthony 

50+ Success

Welcome! Follow 50+ Success for career tips especially for 50+ job seekers and workers…because a little silver is career gold! 

About Anthony Casas: Anthony has many years of experience in the management of service sector, manufacturing and governmental organizations both domestically and abroad. He has also worked as a regular and online instructor for several universities. Anthony earned a doctorate in Industrial Organizational Psychology as well as a Masters degree in Human Resources and Organization Development from the University of San Francisco. In his free time he enjoys exploring new places, perfecting his cooking of Mexican food, and reading a good book!

About Lisa Casas: Lisa spent many years raising two children while simultaneously completing THREE degree programs, a B.S. in Business Management, M.A. in Human Resource Management, and finally, a M.S. in Management of Nonprofit Agencies. Upon graduation, she set to work providing strategy consulting services for nonprofit organizations and micro-businesses. Lisa is a strong advocate for the nonprofit and small business sectors, scoliosis causes, and animal rescue/adoption organizations. She loves to spend time with her family and three rescue dogs, is an avid reader of bestsellers, and a collector of vintage brooches. Additionally, Lisa just transitioned to her natural hair color–decidedly salt and pepper, and has a special interest in authenticity and “owning your age” for 50+ career women.

About Us: Lisa and Anthony have been married over 22 years and they share a passion for helping people.

~ Anthony & Lisa

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