Entering the job market has been a real adventure for me and my research shows it will be for other aging Baby Boomers. According to the October 2009 MetLife Study of the New Realities of the Job Market for Aging Baby Boomers there are 7 mistakes that keep aging Boomers unemployed.
- “I’ll just do what I was doing before.” Too many Boomers assume they can simply continue on their previous career path without consideration of the changing work environment and needed skills.
- “My experience speaks for itself. Lots of employers would be lucky to have me.” Older job seekers cannot assume hiring manager will recognize their value and match it with today’s jobs. According to Charlotte Tenney, director of a federally funded elder job training program in San Diego, “You’ve got to be able to explain to the employer how you are going to make them a success.”
- “I have always been successful, so why should things be different now?” Behaving as if the past is an indicator of today and tomorrow draws on denial that can lead older job seekers to make poor decisions.
- “I just need a job. I don’t have time for this touchy-feely stuff about what work means to me.” Lots of older job seekers do not take the time to recognize how their skills could be more clearly linked to things they really care about to create a more productive and satisfying job.
- “I’ll just use a recruiter or some career coaching to get another job.” Getting feedback and a fresh perspective is the right thing to do, but the job seeker – not the recruiter or the career coach -- still has to secure the job.
- “I know the correct answer! I’ll become a consultant…or maybe a security guard.”
Many job seekers make false assumptions and jump into jobs that are overwhelming or a poor fit.
- “Of course I am good with computers. I have been working with Windows 98 for years!” Aging Boomers who do not continually bring their technology skills up to date create barriers for themselves in the job market.
Tune in next time to learn what the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community found can help Boomers who want to remain part of the workforce.