A new study from the MetLife Mature Market Institute reports that many Americans over the age of 55 plan to work at least until age 69, but that most who look for a job face challenges in finding one. Yet, Department of Labor projections indicate that the 55+ population will account for almost 93% of the net increase in the U.S. Civilian Labor Force between 2006-2016.
The research found in “Buddy, Can You Spare a Job? The New Realities of the Job Market for Aging Baby Boomers” paints a sobering picture, but also contains essential insights and advice for older job-seekers. The data suggests that to be successful older job-hunters must adapt to the changing workplace by adopting new attitudes, specific skills and a fresh set of expectations.
“The fact that so many job-seekers over 55 have difficulty finding work means such individuals need new solutions to compete,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “Largely due to the economy, many of those looking for work may not have the money to retire. For this group, finding work is a necessity and they would benefit by making major changes in what they present about themselves to potential employers.”
The study lists “The Significant Seven”-the most common mistakes older Americans make when they are looking for a job, as exemplified by the following common faulty assumptions:
* “I`ll just do what I was doing before.”
* “My experience speaks for itself.”
* “I don`t have time for this touchy-feely stuff about what work means to me.”
* “I know! I`ll become a consultant…!”
* “Of course I`m good with computers.”
* “I`ll just use a recruiter for some career coaching.”
* “I`ve always been successful, so why should things be different now?”
Instead, older job-seekers and mid-career employees will need to recognize five critical success strategies, the report says: