Can an old dog learn new tricks?

dog typing Stuart Miles

You bet an old dog can learn new tricks!  Especially when it means getting a job.  When the prize is job related, the motivation is high.  Just ask any unemployed person over the age of 50.  

Although there are laws against age discrimination in the hiring process, we all know it happens.  Job searchers over the age of 50 know it better than anyone else.  They are willing to do whatever it takes to get a job.  Some of the things they do are counterproductive like dress too young or dye their hair.  These tactics only make them look silly.

What job searchers over the age of 50 should be doing are things that make them stand out among all the other candidates of any age.  And that is having the skills needed for the open position and the right attitude.  Skills and certifications can be obtained in many ways.  In an earlier post, Update your Skills at M.I.T., UC Berkeley and Notre Dame for Free, I provided information for updating your skills for free or low-cost.

Staying current and learning new skills helps fight the myth that older people don’t want to or can’t learn new things.  It also fill in the gap unemployment has caused in your résumé.  Hiring managers are going to want to know what you have done since you become unemployed.  Showing them you are active and learning is a great way to spend your unemployment.

Some unseen benefits of taking classes include boosting your self-confidence that has taken a hit by being let go and the frustration of the job search.  Meeting new people in the classes increases your network.  Having something to do on a regular basis keeps gives structure to your time as you need to get up and dressed.  And will help with time management. 

You have been given the time to update and learn skills.  Take advantage of the time to do it.  Instead of trying to fit in classes, between work and all the other things you do, you have the time now.  Yes, you still have to job search and that is a job by itself.  But you can adjust your job search schedule to fit your classes. 

So you see it makes sense to learn new tricks, aka skills.  The benefits pros far outweigh the cons.  And will show the hiring manager you haveway too much work left in you to be rolling over and playing dead.

How can I help you in your job search?

Image:   Stuart Miles

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