The good news is that 50 is no longer considered old. Looking around at my family, it seems that 80 is no longer considered old either. My Dad took to the Internet at 80 and now at nearly 89 is on Facebook too! What’s more he and my Mum (86) lead very active lives with my father constantly helping a whole lot of his colleagues and others to sort out their pensions etc.
The not so good news is that the world of work has altered dramatically in recent decades, with the creation and decline of a bewildering array of skills that have altered the landscape of employment. As a result, the changes have left many people over the age of 50 without work opportunities. With the rise of the university, the digital age and an ever increasingly number of alien qualifications, finding employment in your later years can be a challenge.
Training and Employment Courses For The Over 50s
However there are many ways in which you can get back into work if you’re over 50, so let’s take a look at some of the training and employment courses that are available.
Back to School
(Image Source: Flickr)
Whether you want to master the computer, learn practical skills or qualify in an area that will help you get back into work, there are countless courses available for anyone wanting to get on the career ladder.
From distant learning with the Open University to beginners courses on essential career skills, you can pick up almost any course both online and in your area at night schools.
Perhaps the best way to go about training is to research the standards required by employers in the field of work that you want to find. Talking to a careers service such as NiDirect will help you to figure out the right course for your vocation.
The Equality Act 2010 (UK) means that employees and job seekers shouldn’t be discriminated on the basis of their age or any other factors. So providing that you have the necessary training and qualifications, there should be nothing stopping you getting hired.
Get Some Experience
If you have limited job experience then this can reduce your likelihood of being employed. Potential employers want to see that you have the work ethic as well as the skills to make you a suitable candidate, and so voluntary experience is a good way to gain this if your CV is lacking in substance.
Try to find a position that will be relevant for your job prospects, as well as one that you’ll be capable with. If you have limited mobility or struggle with certain key skills, work around this and choose something that you can really improve and excel at.
Step Ahead 50+ is a programme to get those over the age of 50 back into work after being unemployed and on benefits, with a fixed term work opportunity to gain skills and experience for the job market.
Brush Up Your CV
(Image Source: Flickr)
When you got your first job, you probably just went out and asked a few people for work, or got given the position through a friend of the family. Today the employment process is much more formalised, and you won’t get very far without a CV. If you don’t already have one, it’s important to get that fixed as quickly as possible and create a CV before applying for jobs.
An essential precursor to gaining an interview opportunity, you should outline any key skills, relevant experience, and job history in your CV to make yourself shine to a potential employer.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a family member or careers centre if you are struggling to perfect it. There are plenty of free services available that can be infinitely useful when applying for jobs, with advice on writing a CV, a cover letter, interview skills and more. Just look online or visit the local job centre for help.
Start Your Own Business
With your years of experience you might not be an ace at academia, nor specialised in any particular skill. However the knowledge and know-how of those over 50 has a virtue of its own. Starting your own business is a great way to turn your lifelong knowledge and understanding of the world into something really special.
Perhaps you have a fantastic idea for an invention, or maybe you see a gap in the market of something that could be done much better. After a lifetime of working for other people, why not be your own boss and enjoy a little independence? Prime provides support, help and training to help you set up your own business aged 50 plus, so it’s worth making that leap in your later years.
Making yourself employable through training and experience is something that everyone has to do, whether you’re aged 18 or 60. However those aged 50+ will find a growing number of resources to help you get into work, whatever profession you may seek. So whether you’re ready to make the leap into your own business or you simply need to brush up your CV, hopefully the above tips might help!
I feel good when I see the “baby boomers” turning entrepreneurial and the septuagenarians rocking social media. We know a couple of bloggers in their 80’s don’t we? To those that are open, the options are always visible!
Great post, Corinne! 😀
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