Workers over the age of 65 are the fastest growing category of workers today. And their numbers are predicted to rise approximately 10% over the next 40 years, according to CEO of BlueFire HR, Stephanie Nelson.
Companies now have five generations of employees working together in various departments. This type of employee age diversity has been discovered to decrease turnover rates in comparison to workplaces lacking a variety of age groups in its employees.
While some may view getting older in the workplace as problematic, others insist you can use your age and experience to your advantage. Three different entrepreneurs give their best advice to women over 50 on getting ahead regardless of their age.
1. Own your age
“These advantages are your workplace currency,” said Susan Rietano Davey, owner and co-founder of Prepare to Launch U. “Own your age. Know and be confident in your currency, and show an employer how it uniquely qualifies you to grow his/her business,” she told Forbes.
Sell your age, which means years of experience in your field, as a strength. Stress the chameleon-like qualities you’ve developed through the various companies you’ve worked for and the many roles you’ve taken on. And the confidence you’ve built working in different economic states over the years.
And eliminate any negative stereotypes that employers may have with older workers and technology. Educate yourself on social media and the age of marketing to Millennials and Gen Z. Ensure a potential employer that you are knowledgeable in the relevant technology and have the proof of a continuing education class to back you up.
2. Know your hiring opportunities
“Blueprint Technologies is committed to working with women who are returning after career breaks, calling them ‘diamonds in the rough,’ ” said Nancy McSharry Jensen, the CEO and founder of I The Swing Shift.
“They believe the women come up to speed quickly and make an immediate impact. It’s a great ‘try and buy’ for both sides, and many contract firms provide flexible schedules and great benefit programs,” she continued.
The companies hiring the most women over the age of 50 are contract companies as well as small to mid-sized businesses. When applying, do not limit yourself, but try to focus your energy on the category of companies more likely to hire women in your age group.
3. Get creative when searching for a job
“A client of mine in her mid-50s relentlessly tracked the New York Times wedding and engagement announcements for couples who were living in different cities,” career counselor and executive coach Roy Cohen said.
“It seemed obvious to her that a relocation would be imminent, and a job would become available. It proved great for networking, and it actually worked. It was her belief that a manager who lost an employee would be inclined to prefer an older candidate who was unlikely to exit for marriage or maternity.”
Another one of Cohen’s clients created an innovative way of job searching as well.
His client became a member at a highly coveted Manhattan gym, which was also home to celebrities and other well-known public figures. Cohen’s client became friends with older gym members who filled her in on new employment opportunities heard around the club.
Regardless of your age, make the case for hiring you as an employee. When you highlight your strengths, your experience, and your confidence — according to Davey — your age will be irrelevant.
“Employers hire people they believe will grow their businesses. If you can’t make a compelling case for how you will do that, it doesn’t matter if you’re 30 or 60, you won’t get hired,” Davey said.