There are many job search challenges that impact finding a good career fit. Some of these obstacles include inexperience, lack of education, slow economy, over qualification, and age discrimination. This latter, ageism, is becoming more prevalent than ever with baby boomers losing their long-term stable jobs due to a reduction in force (RIF) with company downsizing. Dealing with age discrimination for older workers is a new reality.
In a 2015 survey by the Harris Poll, 65 percent of boomers rated themselves as being the “best problem-solvers/troubleshooters,” yet only 5 percent of millennials agreed. Fifty-four percent of millennials thought boomers were the “biggest roadblocks,” per an article in The Washington Post. This attitude of the younger generation is influenced by the media, Hollywood and young, successful entrepreneurs. Recognizing an inaccurate perception exposes untruths so age discrimination is reduced. Being aware of this potential obstacle and how it affects the job search helps when assessing marketable skills in the workforce.
When job loss occurs, it helps to evaluate your years of work history and current marketable skills. Then, improve on your strengths by researching new skills, updating certifications, and acquiring new ones. Online courses are easily available for advancing or developing new skills. Keep these educational options in mind when considering what talent you can apply to the latest industry trends.
Figuring out the market demand for popular industry jobs is helpful when applying transferable skills or hobbies. In general, the oil and gas industry is on a downturn, but recycling, energy efficiency, and healthcare services are on an upswing. Researching the type of expertise needed with the in-demand industries helps to better confront ageism when it arises. Be flexible with job options and get creative when expanding job knowledge and updating skillsets.
If finding employment becomes difficult because of ageism, think outside the box. For example, consider hobbies that can be turned into likely work opportunities, or get involved in your community by volunteering. Exposing yourself to different situations and people broadens the network of people who see or know of great opportunities. Being open to creative ways to find employment and staying flexible are sure ways to get hired. Read Holiday Cheer and a New Career for networking tips.