It can be tricky looking for work when you're over 50 and you might have lost confidence. You have loads going for you though so think positively and take the steps to find success!
Life can be confusing and that feels unpleasant. At the end of confusion comes clarity though, and remembering this really does help!
Staying motivated is essential in any job search, but it is really difficult. The situation you face might be that you’re applying for loads of jobs and hearing nothing back. Many of my clients find this very rude on the part of the employer, but unfortunately it is the norm and can be very frustrating. My advice is not to take it personally and to keep on applying. However, if you are applying for job after job and not getting interviews then it may well be time to ask why. Is it because you don’t have enough experience? Is it because you aren’t giving the best examples of your competencies? Or is it that you’re applying for the wrong jobs? There will be a reason and it is important to identify it as soon as possible, otherwise you are wasting valuable time.
Another situation you might face when applying for jobs is that you’re getting interviews but haven’t been offered a job and have faced a few rejections. This can have a damaging effect on our confidence too, however my advice would be that if you are getting interviews the employer thinks you have something to offer because you have been short-listed – so keep going!
It’s really important in any job search not to get too hung up on wanting ONE job in particular. This is easier said than done as it’s only natural to imagine yourself in a particular role – especially if you have been for an interview and you like the feel of the place. However, in order to be successful you must stay detached – but not too detached! If you seem like you don’t care about the job or the company, this will not get you the job. But the best way to approach a job search is to be like a robot. Keep on knocking out the applications and try not to get too emotionally involved. It can feel very personal, but it really isn’t. An employer has a role to fill and has to make decisions based on past experience and a very impersonal application process.
Of course, the above advice does depend on your circumstances. If you are out of work or facing a redundancy situation you might need to get a job quickly. Whereas if you have a job but would like to improve your circumstances you will be more selective about the jobs you apply for.
I am sure your job search will be as unique as your individual circumstances, but the scenarios above are very common. If you have a question please contact me. Also – remember that the person who gets the job will probably be the best at selling themselves and these skills aren’t necessarily the same as the competencies needed for the job. The good news is that you can learn the skills needed to get the job you’ve always wanted.
Returning to Work After a Gap
It can be difficult to return to employment following a gap for any reason – whether that is because you have been looking after someone (bringing up a family or supporting a family member due to ill health), because you have suffered a health problem yourself, or if you have been working in a career and decide you would like to pursue a different direction.
Without recent experience in the field that you would like to move into, or without an idea of what it is you want to do it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many options open to you, and your path will be determined by a number of factors. These include your current financial situation, how long you want to work towards your chosen field (are you prepared to retrain or volunteer for a few years?), what your current skills are and what your values are. Its also wise to think about the opportunities that are available to you. Is it realistic to want to be the next Prime Minister? Well someone has to be but it’s important to know what might be involved in this and whether you think it is worth the effort.
Having a fixed idea of what you want to do can be helpful as it means you will be able to plan the steps you need to take quite easily, however there are disadvantages to this approach if you don’t have any flexibility and you are not prepared to change course if opportunities arise on the way to your chosen goal. However on the other hand not having any idea of where you want to go and being swayed by every potential opportunity that comes your way can be a massive barrier too. This is due to having too many opportunities and not focusing on any one thing, you are less likely to achieve any of them.
So the point of this article really is to point out that it is good to have a plan, but a plan that is flexible and one that is dynamic based on developments of the situation that invariably come up in your life. If you don’t know where to start, or you just need a little bit of help, I can help you to get onto the right path and help you to stay focused. Sometimes, just knowing that there is someone there asking how you are getting on with your plan can help you to stay focused and make sure you do all the things you say you are going to do!
If you need help to decide what next, or how to be successful in finding a job after taking a career break for whatever reason get in touch – Kelly@cygnetnortheast.com or phone 07881294894. Or you can use our contact form. We can help you to explain why you haven’t been in work in a positive way.