Redundant at 50: How to Start the Next Phase of Your Career

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by: Jeanette Hannan

Redundancy is unwelcome at any stage of your career, but at the age of 50, losing your job in this way is a devastating blow. You may have dedicated many years to a particular employer, and it’s a daunting prospect to know that you are surplus to their future requirements. The good news is that your age doesn’t need to stop you finding a new role.

Here are some simple steps you need to take to move forward into the next phase your career.

Focus on your transferable skills

If you have worked in the same role for many years, you may not even realise how many transferable skills you have developed. Many employers offer excellent opportunities to mature / experienced workers, but it’s vital that you focus on the skills that they’re looking for. Before you start to approach prospective employers, draw up a list of all the experience you can offer, so you can start to market what you can do. Don’t overlook obvious skills. For example, employers always want people who can communicate well, meet deadlines and accept responsibility. The chances are you have done those things (and more) consistently, for many years.

Look for active employers

It’s important that you focus your efforts on the most active employers in your area. You probably haven’t had to think about where work is available for some time, so you now need to take more interest in the local job market. Read local newspapers or websites to find out what is happening. Talk to your friends, family members and neighbors, to find out if the companies they work for are looking for new people.

Put together a new resume

If you’re going to start applying for jobs, you’re going to need a new resume (or CV). It’s probably some time since you last pulled together a document like this, so consider paying a professional resume writing service to compile your resume for you. It’s vital that your application stands out to a recruiter, and a professional resume service can help you make sure that the content is first class.

Join networking groups

Your professional and personal network is a vital part of finding new work. The people you already know can help you hunt down new opportunities, but it’s also vital to broaden your horizons, and reach out to new people. LinkedIn is the world’s leading professional social network, and a profile on the site could help recruiters and hiring managers find you. Join local networking groups to meet new people, and take advantage of any career counseling services that your current employer is offering.

Get ready to try different things

Many people over the age of 50 enjoy a good income, but realise that they may have to work in a different way. You may no longer work in a single full-time job. Your new career may include different roles, and you will need to work more flexibly. You don’t need to see this in a negative way. You may enjoy the variety of multiple roles, each with their own challenges. You may even decide that you want to try working on a self-employed basis. Redundancy is the biggest career change you will ever make, so approach it positively.

Being made redundant at the age of 50 may feel as though your working life has come crashing to an end, so it’s up to you to kick-start your career again. Start looking for all the opportunities that may exist, and focus on all the positive actions that you can take for move forward.

If you would like to know more about the author, Jeanette Hannan [click here].