Too Old? Not!

I know a woman who recently lost her job though a reduction in force. In our conversation she said, “I’m 60 years old! Do you know how hard it will be for me to find a job!”

The answer is yes … and no. I won’t lie. Age discrimination, while illegal, is common. But not everyone discriminates, and those that don’t can hire some true gems.

“Too old” may translate to “over qualified” and either those may lead to the assumption that your salary expectations are “too much.” Often those late in their career are interested in taking a smaller job that is less stressful and allows them to focus on tasks that they enjoy. They recognize that this smaller job will come with a smaller paycheck, and that’s okay with them. Others aren’t ready to step back and want to push to replace the job they just left. You need to know which one you are, because the strategies are very different.

If you are interested/willing/able to take a smaller job, try these:

  • “Yes, I have more experience that you are looking for, but here is why I am looking for a job at this level…”
  • “With my additional experience I will need less training and can bring more value to your operation quickly. You can use me to mentor some of your less experienced workers.”
  • “In addition to performing the duties of the job you’ve described, I may also be able to help you in these ways…”

If you are not interested/able to take a smaller job, then don’t apply for them unless it is for the interview experience – and don’t be upset when you don’t get them. Please don’t lie and feign interest and then keep looking for the job you really want. That has negative effects on everyone, including you.

If you are over 55 and in the job market it will probably take you longer to find a job. On the other hand, you may have a larger network already established. The process is the same; make a plan, build your network, and tell your story. The good news is that you probably have a better story to tell.


If you want more advice on how to write a resume, how to, network or just how to find a job, check out I’m Fired?!? A Business Fable about the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another. Click here for more details.

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