Andy asks Career Resumes®:
“I am presently 61 years of age and own my own Management Consulting Firm. I am considering closing shop and would like to enter the job market. How detrimental is the age factor? What suggestions do you have to overcome potential age considerations? I have a strong background in project management and team building. My specialty has been in identifying and developing public private partnerships.”
Career Resumes® answers:
The number one concern that a potential employer will have about your age is your intentions. At age 61, are you seeking a job with a steady paycheck so you can coast into retirement in four to five years? In other words, will an employer be hiring a parasite who just wants to hang on and not get out there and develop business, build relationships, and contribute to the overall success of the company. That will be the concern that most companies will have about your candidacy.
That said, while age discrimination does exist more and more employers are seeing the value of older workers. Older workers have a great deal to offer employers including depth of experience, maturity, patience, and good management backgrounds. Older workers have “seen it all” and are not easily upset by events in the business world.
When conducting your job search, be sure to target appropriate positions. Many older workers feel they need to aim at positions that are lower on the totem pole in order to overcome their age hurdle. Actually, that hurts rather than helps because they are overqualified for those positions. Aim for positions that are equal to your latest position or higher. Be clear on your salary requirements, taking into consideration the entire package of benefits as part of your compensation. Do not make any health conditions that you have prominent issues in your job search. Consider relocation if at all possible to make yourself more marketable and more easily hired.
Use your years in the workforce to your advantage. That means networking. You have built a considerable network at this point in your life and now will be the time to use it. Come up with companies for whom you would be interested in working and then mobilize your network to get your foot in the door with these companies.