Lost Your Job Over 50

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Losing your job over 50 years old is a common occurrence in today’s day and age. Companies were consolidating, merging, buying up smaller companies all the time many of those company’s workforces are downsized. This often leaves many of the older more expensive employees vulnerable to layoffs.  This can leave people with some severe anxiety in a time when they may have a lot of expense.

The good news is that people are working in general until later ages these days. Because that’s now becoming the norm, many companies see the benefit of hiring older workers with more experience. And that’s as it should be since many people in their 50s are at their highest levels of knowledge and productivity.

So, the first thing to remember is not to panic. There are plenty of job resources out there to help in your search. You even have time to move on to a new career altogether if that’s what you choose.  Let’s look at some of the things you can do if you’re looking for a job and your over 50 years old.

Get a headhunter

A headhunter is someone who works on behalf of another company looking for talent with specific skills. Depending on the type of job you have, but especially for services work, and executive positions, finding a headhunter should be top on your list if you lost your job over 50.  There are a lot of companies out there today who are looking for the right type of experience.  Many of them will use a headhunter if the position is valuable enough to them.  So if you have a unique skill set, this is one of the first things you should do.  A headhunter can start to put leads on your doorstep very quickly.

Finding a headhunter can take a little work, but do some searching on Google and LinkedIn.  These companies are all over the place and will have competencies in different industries.  Find the ones that look to match your experiences best, and then reach out.  Either give them a call, send an email or a message over LinkedIn.  Remember these people get paid when they place you, so they can be highly motivated to help.

Job sites for over 50

You will find there are now online resources focusing specifically on finding workers over 50.  The site RetirementJobs.com is a perfect example.  Don’t let their name fool you, because they are not just posting jobs for those who are retired.  What they and others have done, is find companies that are friendly to older workers.  So if you’re in your fifties, you are probably on the young side of people using these resources.  There’s no shortage of jobs posted on this site, and you will see there are a lot of companies that have been certified, age-friendly employers.  Meaning these are great companies to work for even if you intend to work well into your 60’s, as many people do these days.

Related: The Best Job Search Sites

Become a freelancer

Becoming a freelancer is an excellent option for a world where working remotely is so easy.  There are so many companies looking for contract work these days, and by joining a site like Upwork, you can advertise your skills to these companies.  Just browse around for a bit, and you will see there is a vast number of jobs companies need to be done.  If you find the right company, it can even lead to a longer-term gig, but with the max flexibility for you.

The negative to this type of job is that you aren’t going to get benefits.  But if this isn’t something you’re worried about, then give this one a close look.  You might enjoy a change from a standard nine to five job.

Related: Best Work From Home Jobs

Start your own business

If you lost your job over 50, and are in a good place financially, starting a business isn’t a bad idea.  Some people think they are too old, but older business owners often have more success than their younger counterparts.  Maybe you’ve had a passion about something for a long time, but just never done anything about it.  Losing your job might be just the kick in the butt you needed to get things going.

Just be sure you have a good handle on what it will take from an investment standpoint to get things going.  You might have some money to invest, but don’t underestimate or you’ll end up with a failed venture, or having to put more capital in that you hadn’t expected.

Related: Home-Based Business Ideas

Start a franchise

This goes hand-in-hand with starting a business but is a little less risky.  Franchises are going to cost you some money on the front end but can get you into positive cash flow more quickly.  The good ones have thought through the operational, marketing, and advertising complexities for you.  After some initial setup and training, you can often move quickly into getting customers and generating revenue.  Take a look at this option if you want to start a business, but are a more risk-averse person.

Start networking

If you lost your job over the age of 50, getting out there to do some networking can work wonders.  Sometimes a company might think they’re looking for someone a little younger, but if you can talk with someone in person, it’s easier to sway their opinion.  Being able to tell someone about your experience, rather than just looking at a resume is critical.

Most communities have networking events you can find via LinkedIn or sites like Eventbrite.  You should also look to your local community centers who also often host these types of events.

Use LinkedIn

Maybe you’re one of those who keep a daily eye on your LinkedIn account.  But chances are if you are in your 50’s and been at the same job for a while, you just haven’t updated your LinkedIn account.  Take the time to get out there update your profile.  Also, take the time to explore what companies are advertising job postings on LinkedIn.  Over the years it has become the most utilized professional social media platform easily.  There are companies, headhunter, and others just looking to network out there in droves.  This is a tool you should take advantage of no matter what your age.

Start training

If you are leaving a job that you feel just hasn’t left you with the right skills, don’t be afraid to get some education.  There are lots of certifications, and trade schools that can give you a good education in a field with demand relatively quickly.  Put some thought into the type of work you’ve always wanted to do, and see if there are training programs available.  The beauty is that many industries will have online training available.  This means you aren’t constricted by having a school locally to help you.

Update your resume

Ok, this sounds like a no brainer, but it might have been a while since some you have had to update a resume.  It’s important to get it done effectively and to include things relevant to today’s employers.  You can find plenty of online resources to help with this task. There are lots of companies that can get you up and running with a new resume quickly and efficiently. 

If you want to talk with someone in person, you can try sites like Fiverr or Upwork.

The Bottom Line if You Lose Your Job Over 50

There are lots of options out there for you regardless of age.  In today’s world, more and more companies are recognizing that people are working later into life.  They also know that at this age, you have far more knowledge than younger counterparts.  That’s not to say there won’t be challenges.  There are still stereotypes that need to be overcome.  But by getting out, and putting yourself in front of potential employers, landing another job is doable.  Even if you need to head back and get some training, you still have plenty of time to get it done.  Who knows, maybe losing your job will be a blessing in disguise, and you’ll end up doing something you like even more.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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