Midlife Job Search : How People in Their 40s Can Get Hired?

Midlife Job Search : How People in Their 40s Can Get Hired?

Given the economic difficulties in society, many people are finding it hard to get a job or to hold on to their existing career. This is especially true for those who are over forty.

This is because most companies believe that seasoned workers are not only costly but also have fewer skills when it comes to technology, and that they may be less adaptable and resistant to change.

Although this is largely inaccurate, it makes it difficult for senior workers to change jobs.

Even when the unemployment rate is taken into account, you will find that older workers naturally spend more time in the field as compared to their younger counterparts. Here are some ways that people in their 40s can get hired.

1. Sell your skills

Since many young people have lower salary expectations, finding a job for an older worker might be a bit challenging, especially in industries that are highly competitive, as older workers often command higher salaries.

It is important that as a job seeker, you take appropriate measures to ensure that you sell your skills and talent to prospective employers. As an older worker, your experience and perspective hold great value.

Make sure that your resume reflects the experience and skills that you have gained throughout your career. Apply to companies that are small to medium sized as they are more likely to value personal input and employ experienced workers.

Huge, bustling start-up companies (especially in the technology industry) are more prone to hire young graduates at a lower price.

2. Update your skills

A person who is over 40 years can overcome this by demonstrating the ability to learn new skills, for example embracing new technology or fashionable theories in their sector.

Consider learning something new by taking a few courses or classes to refresh and update your skills. In today’s world, basic technology skills are an absolute must.

Demonstrate your ability to learn by mastering skills such as word processing programs, spreadsheets, presentation and calendaring applications. When you have the basics down to a tee, try and master more advanced skills.

Show prospective employers that you are on top of your game by updating your LinkedIn page and making sure that any social media accounts you have are organized and free of spam.

3. Ignore the traditional corporate pyramid

In most corporate pyramids, older people are usually at the top followed by younger employees that are expected to climb the ranks as time passes.

However, today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world sees many young employees taking managerial positions after just a few years’ experience. You may end up in a job position where you will work under managers who are many years your junior. If your skills and experience are a fit for the vacant position, this should not be an obstacle.

Regardless of age differences between fellow employees, a professional worker will do their best to succeed at any given responsibility and job task, and will ensure that they always give 110%.

Stay respectful and demonstrate your professionalism and skills in interview opportunities to show that you are not put out by working for and taking directions from younger managers.

4. Establish a professional appearance

Biologically, human beings usually slow down as they age. Even when you are exercising regularly, you are likely to be less fit than you were 10 years earlier. Although aging is a natural process, try not to let this show on your resume.

Update your appearance to look professional and stylish. Whether this means updating your wardrobe with a new outfit, working on your posture or simply taking the time to have a professional photo taken for your CV or resume, work on your professional look to appear trendy and modern.

Nowadays, this is relatively easy, as fashion rules are much more fluid and changeable. It is always important to have a strong professional image.

5. Take care of your health

This one goes hand in hand with updating your professional image. A healthy, able worker presents a great image to prospective employers. Taking care of your health is also beneficial to you as an individual and will enable you to work with energy and stamina throughout the work day.

Consider joining a gym or a running club in your community to get fit and active. It is never too late to get fit! Go for a regular medical check-up once a year and address any major health issues that you may have.

While employers are not allowed to discriminate based on age, an unhealthy image will certainly discourage their confidence in hiring an older worker.

6. Revise your resume

Take a look at your resume and think about what it represents. Is it reflective of your work skills and experience? Does it demonstrate your ability to adapt to change and learn new skills?

If you have worked at several jobs throughout your career, use the reverse chronological order in your resume and put the focus on your recent career undertakings and the value that these experiences have added to your skills and abilities as an older worker.

You could even consider removing graduation dates and simply listing relevant degree qualifications and the schools you attended.

Keep the information on your resume or CV relevant and tailor it for the specific companies where you are applying. 

There is no single reason why those who are in their 40s should have trouble looking for a new career or indeed in changing career.

While the new economic challenges are making the market harder to navigate for every worker, whether they are in the 20s or in their 40s, it’s clear that finding a new job for older people is even harder.

Although this can lead to stress and worry, changing strategies, using these tips and investigating alternatives can greatly help older job seekers succeed. Stay confident, success is just around the corner!

Author: Marcus Clarke

Marcus has a degree in psychology, a masters degree in health psychology and has worked within the NHS as well as private organisations. Marcus started psysci a psychology and science blog in order to disseminate research into bitesize, meaningful and helpful resources. View all posts by Marcus Clarke