This may be an ideal time for older workers to jump back into the job market. Here’s why:
The historic “Great Resignation” may offer opportunities for older workers to return to the job market. But job experts say job seekers need to be prepared, both emotionally and intellectually.
“It is a fantastic time for someone over 45 or over 50 to get back in the market. Employers are grappling with finding workers who have experience that can hit the ground running,” says Kerry Hannon, author and career expert.
“They’ve been going for a bunch of months now without filling positions that they really need.”
Figures behind the job facts
In September and October an average of more than four million people quit their jobs while the number of jobs postings topped 11 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
According to a survey by Joblist, the Great Resignation trend is here to stay:
- 58% of hospitality workers said that they plan to quit their jobs before the end of 2021.
- Among the top reasons for workers quitting their jobs this year: unhappiness with they were treated by their employer during the pandemic; low pay or lack of benefits: and lack of work-life balance.
- 73% of currently employed workers said they were thinking about quitting their jobs.
“We’ve seen a lot more help wanted signs pretty much everywhere that we go,” says Brian Jass, advisor with Great Waters Financial in Vadnais, Minnesota. “So, I think it can be a tremendous opportunity for people to get back into work mode in one way, shape or form.”
“A lot of companies have had this massive brain drain with people leaving the company”
Robert Gilliland, managing director and senior wealth advisor at Concenture Wealth Management in Houston Texas, adds that many retired or otherwise former workers of energy companies are returning to work under contract.
“A lot of companies have had this massive brain drain with people leaving the company,” he says. “And you have these older, or more experienced clients, more experienced workers, who understand how things work and how things go. With their experience, they can go back in a lot of cases.”
“But I also see it with just people who need or want to work because of the way things are going with inflation. They are a little bit worried, and they need or want something to do. There are opportunities now. They’re not the same as a senior level manager or upper mid-level manager. But there clearly are opportunities there.”
Starting the Job Hunt
If you’re looking to get back into the market, Hannon says first you need to create a Linked-In profile to show that you are available for work.
“Really home in that Linked-In profile that showcases exactly who you are. For example, you’re an expert in project management,” she says. “Whatever it is, showcase it and apply for whatever job that you would like to get. The Linked-In recruiter network is firing on all cylinders right now. There’s all kinds of jobs. Check the boxes of what kinds of work you’re looking for, and you can apply right on LinkedIn.”
Hannon says older job seekers can also use the website Indeed, where you can upload your resume, and Patina Nation, which is aimed at higher-level executives.
There are also plenty of opportunities for older workers who are interested in retail or service jobs, if you are comfortable with it in the age of COVID. There are also online positions, and flexjobs.com may be a good start.
More Job Hunt Tips
Mannon also says:
- Use your networking contacts.
- Once you figure out what you want to do or where you want to work, visit the company websites for job listings.
- Keep learning and keep your skills up to date. Make sure you are relevant to the trends and technology in your field.
“You don’t want to be stuck in that lane of the job you had before,” she says. “A lot of people want to replicate their old job. Be nimble and look for ways to take some risks. Redeploy your skills to change lanes so that you’re not stuck on that path because the world’s just changing too fast.”
As with everything else these days, scammers are using job platforms and websites to try to obtain money or personal information or both, so exercise caution, according to the FTC–scammers are everywhere! Scammers even trawl LinkedIn (which offers safety tips here) or Facebook.
Rodney A. Brooks writes about retirement and personal finance issues. His column currently runs in U.S. News & World Report. He has written columns on retirement for The Washington Post and USA TODAY. He has also written for National Geographic, Next Avenue and Black Enterprise magazine. He retired as Deputy Managing Editor/Personal Finance and retirement columnist for USA TODAY in 2015.