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On the Value of Older Workers…

       By: Melva MacDonald

I am of an age where I am considered to be an “older worker”, so I feel I can speak to the challenges and benefits of being an older worker.

We work hard, are conscientious and I feel we produce a high quality of work because we have the experience and the initiative to back it up.

Older workers are sometimes overlooked because there may be preconceived notions about this high tech world, and assumptions are made that we won’t be able to keep up. Sometimes we get set in our ways, and can take some time to adapt to change, but many of us were raised with a “can do “attitude and we will do our best to adapt to the challenge.

Older workers come with many skills and strengths that employers are looking for:

  • We have a great work ethic, and we know the importance of exceptional customer service.
  • We can work well with others and require less supervision.
  • We are loyal, dependable and reliable.

On the down side, we can’t run, jump or bend like we used to. Our knees make some strange creaking sounds. Our thoughts may get a little scattered when trying to multi task but our hearts are still wanting to carry on and work hard.

If you’re an older worker and currently looking for work, here are some things to consider:

  • When thinking about your resume or an interview, keep in mind to delete any dates that would reveal your age, to level the playing field, as it were. Point out your current experience and speak with confidence. In the interview show how you believe this position will help you begin the next phase of your career.
  • Discuss long term goals and show confidence in your ability to hit the ground running. This will let the employer know that even though you are an experienced person, you don’t have plans to retire in the next month or two.
  • Explain why you feel this job you are applying for will be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Focus on your expertise and what you can bring to this job.

Finally, market yourself correctly and dress age appropriate.  The employer can see you that you are no spring chicken, so don’t’ try to be something you are not, just be yourself and let your little light shine!

Because of lengthening life expectancy and the rising cost of living, many of us will have to work well into our seventies to support our pension income, however, we would like it to be a choice.

After 65 and having been in the same job for 30 or more years, you might like to consider something a little different.  If you have a great idea for a product you have been thinking about for years, maybe you could start your own company and be your own boss for a change.  Get some of the younger members of your family involved to help with marketing and production. This way you are not only providing stability for your future, but other members of your family as well.

You might find yourself enjoying your work while enriching the lives of those around you with your vast knowledge and experience. If you have to work, you might as well have fun while you are doing it!

Remember to maintain a sense of humor and laugh often.

You’ve got this!

 

“I’m a success today because

I had a friend who believed in me

and I didn’t have the heart to let him down”.

Abraham Lincoln