Some professionals believe that once they’ve reach 50 they’re ready for the coffin, not the workplace. That is a complete fallacy. In fact, today there are many jobs and opportunities perfectly suited to the over 50 job seeker. So don’t be disheartened simply because you have reached that “5-0.”
One of the benefits of living in Canada for those over 50 is the impending skills shortage. Universities, utilities, health care, and corporate Canada are just some examples of employers who are facing large numbers of retiring employees in the next few years, including those at the most senior levels in the C-suite.
Many of these companies and institutions do not have adequate succession plans in place, and will have a huge talent gap to fill. This represents a big opportunity if you are sensible about managing your career.
So if you are approaching 50 or over 50, it is key that you maintain your morale, because your situation really isn’t negative. However, there are a few things you must embrace:
- Be willing to update your education and don’t become obsolete.
- Check your wardrobe and make sure that it’s up to date and doesn’t portray you as old school.
- Manage your career when you’re gainfully employed, and consistently look for new opportunities. Network, network, network.
- Maintain relationships with past employees who may now be in an influential hiring position, and with executive recruiters who are always looking for mature talent.
- Consider a change. It’s also perfectly acceptable to take a step in another career direction. Many of my clients who had worked in senior executive positions in corporate Canada decided in their 50s to change their tack and work for a not-for-profit organization. There they found more excitement and engagement than in their corporate job. Many national not-for-profits even pay corporate Canada salaries to attract talent. Smaller and more locally-based not-for-profit organizations do pay less, but that might not be as important to you as job satisfaction.
As I travel around and facilitate presentations to diverse audiences, many people still ask me about ageism. Luckily I find ageism is on the decline these days. Put it out of your mind. If you have a positive mindset and consider your age as an asset, you will secure a job a lot faster than someone who considers their grey hair an inhibitor.
In essence, be proud of your grey hair. Reinvigorate your deportment and wardrobe. Stay positive. There is a job for you right now.