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How to Manage Late Career Job Loss in Your 50s and 60s
Losing your job can be stressful and scary at any age, but it’s particularly disheartening when the job loss is late in your career. Workers in their 50s and 60s often struggle to find their way back into the workplace and have a tougher time getting a job with a comparable salary (usually higher than their earlier career peers) or level within an organization.
But the good news is that in your 50s and 60s, you’ve accumulated invaluable experience and skills, many of which are a competitive advantage when it comes to the job market. Follow our tips for managing late career job loss like a pro.
Of course, no one enjoys losing their job. But reframing late-career job loss as an ‘opportunity’ instead of an ‘obstacle’ can do wonders for your motivation and the marketing of yourself. Though this is a tough, challenging period (and it’s completely fine if you acknowledge this), take the time to see your transition in a new light. Focus on the host of new opportunities standing before you. Your goal in the first few weeks is to clear your mind, disconnect from your old “reality” and make the first steps toward creating a fulfilling future.
Reframing can also help you start looking for a new position as soon as possible: the smaller the gap in your resume, the easier the job search process will be.
2. Cultivate a “Friend-works” Instead of Networks
For people in their 50s and 60s, your friendship networks will prove beneficial in a job search. Rather than going with the default, impersonal networking approach, take the time to get to expand your network and meet different people. Make a personal connection (which is sadly missing in our digitally driven world). Listen, engage and stay in touch. Include younger people in your friend network, and don’t be afraid to take small social risks, such as inviting a new friend to an outing, coffee, lunch or dinner meeting. You never know where the next opportunity might come from.
3. Keep Learning
As a worker in your 50s or 60s, you already have the advantage of decades of professional experience, but learning new skills can help you seize even more fantastic opportunities as they present themselves. Sign up for online courses or online tutorials and consider adding digital skills to your resume. Get out of your comfort zone – taking classes is the best way to mix socially with people from different backgrounds, all while challenging yourself and growing.
There exists a slew of digital platforms and outlets to help you learn new skills at your own pace. Platforms like Mindvalley, Udemy, Skillshare, and LinkedIn Learning have massive collections of classes, often at low, reasonable costs. And in addition to formal courses, there is much to learn from people in your network. Ask them for suggestions, especially if you have friends or contacts who have successfully navigated late-career job loss.
4. Refresh Your Resume
Take a look at your resume: when was the last time you updated it? Does it contain keywords for the position you are applying to?
Most jobs require candidates to apply online and many of these online application sites use artificial intelligence tools to screen candidates. Therefore, you may need to refresh your resume and cover letter to ensure you are capturing the right keywords for the position you seek (here’s a helpful article with tips on how to do this).
5. Seek the Help of an Professional
If it has been a while since you last looked for work, working with a career coach or a recruiter might be hugely beneficial. A career coach can help you take stock of your skills and aptitude and help you craft a plan to achieve your short and long-term professional goals. And though recruiters are typically hired by businesses to fill open positions, as a job seeker, it is advantageous to be in a recruiter’s candidate pool to scale your opportunities. Recruiters want candidates who will get hired, so many will help you during the recruitment process – from applying to accepting an offer.
When you get a job offer and new employment contract, working with an employment lawyers is another critical step. Your new contract may contain post-employment restrictions such as non-solicitation and non-competition clauses that might make it harder for you to find a new job. And most employment contracts have a termination clause that limit your severance package entitlements. Your employment lawyer can review your new contract and provide you with insight and advice to ensure you are protected in your new role and have set yourself up for the best possible future.
Consult an Experienced Employment Lawyer
Advocation lawyers practice in the field of labor and employment law. They use their in-depth knowledge, experience, and professional skills to provide exceptional counsel and representation to clients concerning workplace issues. To schedule your consultation, contact Advocation today.