According to Wall Street Journals’ Market Watch article ‘Older Workers: Age Bias makes job hunt tougher: ‘Age discrimination is a problem, job seekers said: 43% of people aged 50 and older who’ve looked for a job in the past five years said they’ve met with employers who are concerned about their age, and 32% said they’ve been told they’re overqualified, according to the survey, which has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points.’
How can you beat the stigma of “age discrimination” if you are in your fifties, seeking new career opportunities?
Sarah, a fifty-three year old female professional with a Master’s Degree from a quality University, had been in a long term position with no career advancement. Frustrated, Sarah decided she would seek opportunities elsewhere and contacted PDS to partner and work with her. After meeting with her Career Transition Coach to complete an extensive branding process, she was ready to begin a focused marketing campaign with her new custom resume, cover letters and contact approach letters that fully communicated her value to prospective employers. Within a short period of time, Sarah was thrilled to secure a management position with a very good organization and a $25,000 pay increase over her previous salary. By fully understanding and communicating her value to prospective employers and using a strategic marketing approach, Sarah was able to secure a higher paying position much more aligned with where she wanted her career to go, and effectively beat both her frustration of being stagnant in her career, and the specter of age discrimination.
After spending months job searching, Cliff had lost his focus and his confidence. Using the normal ‘shotgun’ approach, he had applied to hundreds of positions just hoping he could ‘land’ the right job. Like many unemployed job seekers over 50 years of age, his interest in the process itself had waned and fear was taking over. Coming into Professional Development Strategies, Cliff shared his goals, aspirations and extensive experience with his new coach. His coach spent additional time delving into his accomplishments and contributions and re-branded Cliff, opening him up to more opportunities and options. Cliff’s level of personal commitment increased as he absorbed all the preparation and coaching, and his confidence in his value in the marketplace returned. No longer was he ‘shot-gunning’ resumes hoping someone would hire him. Through focused coaching, Cliff secured a new position making $10,000 more than previously, with solid benefits.
Making effective career transitions in this competitive economy takes strategic branding and expertise into networking, interviewing and negotiation compensation packages. Learning how to best communicate and market one’s value in the marketplace to bridge to a new career role is a refined skill-set that most professionals can gain from. Mastering these skills is ‘learning for life’.