Over 50 and Unemployed

My husband and I both recently lost our jobs. We are both 58 and unable to retire at this time. I've been in the home building industry for 20 years and really don't know anything else. My husband has been in the grocery business for about 27years. We are both concerned about the possibility of ever finding a job at our age. Please help us determine what we need to do in order to get back into the work place.

Losing a job is a difficult transition and when both husband and wife are in the same situation, it can indeed be a fearful time. You mention that you are both older adults and concerned about finding employment "at our age." Though there are many articles written about the demand for older workers, some people do indicate that they experience age discrimination. However, many, many people are able to continue in their careers, return to the workplace and remain in their jobs for years to come.

So, there are many things you can do to increase your job opportunities. First is to do a realistic assessment of your skills, interest and values. What work were you doing? Do you need to look in a different direction? Can you move forward in that direction or do you need more training to meet the current needs of the workplace? How will you obtain that training, if needed? Are you computer literate? Almost every job today requires at least a basic ability to use a computer. (There are many classes available everywhere!) Do you need to adjust your target - your job objective - to more realistically fit. Are you familiar with the types of jobs available for your skill sets?

How's your resume? Does it highlight your skills and experience well without focusing on age? Does it meet the requirements of the marketplace?

How do you present? Do you look as good as you can? Do you speak with confidence? Have you reviewed your accomplishments so you are able to present them to a prospective employer?

Are you familiar with the current methods of job search? Networking, internet, etc?

Though age is a factor, it is only a challenge, with strong support and a positive attitude you will find work. (You might need to access help from a local agency to help with learning some of these more effective search techniques.) Just don't give up - understand the market, prepare yourself and focus on success, not on negatives.

The Career Experts @ ChicagoJobs.org

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