For the first time in our nation’s history, older adults are now the fastest-growing segment of our population. Every day, 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65.
Unfortunately, one in every five people 65 and older lives on an average of $7,500 a year. Social Security recipients will only see a very slight cost-of-living adjustment in those benefits in 2013.
The Government Accountability Office reports that the number of unemployed adults 55 and older has doubled in the past five years.
All this adds up to the need for older adults, many of them 65 and older, to find work.
If you are an older adult, here are seven things you can do to improve your chances of finding work:
- Creatively expand the list of skills you possess based on your background and your years of experience. Fully taking into consideration your skills that are transferable to other jobs is critical in today’s job market.
- List the companies that typically hire those jobs skills.
- At a minimum, use traditional networking to determine who does the hiring for the companies you are interested in.
- If you are computer savvy, use Facebook, LinkedIn and other social network sites as part of your networking effort.
- Contact those companies. Do not ask if they have job openings. Ask to meet with them to discuss their business, their industry or to get career advice. Ask for 10 minutes of their time and only take 10 minutes of their time.
- If your contacts and meetings lead to a job interview, focus on your dependability and your desire to work hard. Let the interviewer know how many more years you plan to work. Most employers do not expect more than six or seven years for any new employee for any given job.
- Contact a One-Stop Career Center for help in your job preparation and search.
The Labor Department provides One-Stop Career Centers in all 50 states. These centers provide free computer training and other services for older adults. The computer courses alone can make older adults more confident about their skills while giving them credentials to show prospective employers.
The Department of Workforce Services provides One-Stop Career Centers in Clearfield, Ogden, Roy, Brigham City and Logan. These centers offer a full range of employment services for both those seeking jobs and for employers seeking to hire.
As the fastest-growing segment of our population, older adults are facing more challenges than at any time since the Great Depression, but thankfully, services are available to help.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.