Redundant at 50: How to Gain New Skills

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

For people aged 50 and older, the prospect of redundancy is a devastating blow. More mature candidates may worry that they don’t have the same skills as their younger counterparts, and they are likely to feel as though they won’t appeal as much to a recruiter. One of the best things that mature candidates can do is focus on all the opportunities they may have to develop vital new skills. Keep a competitive edge in the job market, and consider the following ways to develop new skills.

Training courses

Professional training courses are available for almost any skill you can think of. If you’ve set your mind on a particular career, formal training through a recognised industry body could give you exactly what you need. Shop around on price, as suppliers fill many course places at the last minute. Check with your current employer as well, as they may offer discounted training packages to outgoing employees, as a way to help them find work.

Voluntary work

Voluntary work doesn’t have to involve helping out in a charity store. Many organisations now offer lots of voluntary placements, many of which could help broaden your skills. Voluntary placements can plug both technical and soft skill gaps. For example, you may find an opportunity where you can learn useful computer skills by working voluntarily with disadvantaged teenagers.

Work placements

Employers don’t just offer work placements to students and graduates. Some organisations will offer temporary, unpaid roles to mature workers who are looking to learn some specific skills. Conduct research on companies that offer these placements online, or approach local businesses directly. Pitch your skills and interests carefully, making it very clear which skills you want to develop, and what experience you can offer in return.

Become a mentor

As a mature worker, you will have lots of experience that younger candidates can learn from. Workplace mentoring schemes are a great way for you to offer your services to organisations that want mature workers to share their experience. By becoming a mentor, you can develop your communication and time management skills, and you can also learn from your mentee. For example, working with young people in this way could help you quickly understand more about social trends and technology.

Online learning

The Internet offers a vast array of information that can help you quickly plug skills gaps. Go online to learn more about the areas that could help your future career. Online learning isn’t just about technology and digital trends. You can develop your understanding in pretty much any area of interest, often for free.  These opportunities can also put you in touch with professional groups of like-minded people who can support your learning.

Redundancy at the age of 50 doesn’t have to spell the end of your career. You just need to be clear in what you want to do and what you have to offer, then work out what you need to learn to become a strong candidate in the job market.

If you would like to discuss your career options with a professional Career Consultant, please take the time review the wide ranges career services Résumés for Results – Career Consulting offers. If you would like to know more about the writer of this article, [click here].