Family 411: Mature workers looking for ways to stay relevant on the job market
America's work force is getting older, fast. According to AARP, by 2022 about 35 percent of the labor force will be over fifty years old. Generational communication is impacting those mature workers as they set out to find jobs.
"Looking for a job is a full time job," said Central Ohio John McQuaig. While many think of older adults as retirees, millions need to work to stay financially secure and independent..
Wayne Kottman is a retired Navy officer and job seeker. It took him eight months to land an offer. "It can get sort of depressing after a while," said Kottman.
But at the Jewish Family Services center in Bexley, mature workers from all faiths and cultural backgrounds are taking the opportunity to update their resumes which experts say often get just a ten second review. "You got to really make sure that you are hitting the points that is going to interest somebody to make the cut, just to try and get that first interview," said Kottman.
JFS Business Services Director Lynn Aspey said workers should show employers energy and find ways to stand out. Aspey said you heed to connect with you interviewer who could be half your age.
"We don't think alike , we don't talk alike , we don't look alike and we don't process information alike," Aspey said. I think we don't let companies know the value that we do bring them as a mature worker>"
The work habits of each generation can impact can impact the company culture, said McQuaig. "I think the mature worker is really looking for something they can feel passionate about , in terms of mission and terms of value."
Sharon Chelnick, another job seeker had some advice for mature workers; update tools like LinkedIn and network. Chelnick said it was good to talk to others at the center who were experiencing similar challenges looking for work.
"They acted as a support group but we also bounced ideas off of each other."
"We are a work place that has four and five generations of workers,working together for the first time in history. We can engage, we have value to each other," said Aspey.
AARP suggests mature job seekers take advance of their state and community employment centers or connect with staffing agencies.
The number of people age 55 and over that work part time has doubled in the past several decades to 7.5 million.
Experts said some mature workers are not looking for work because they believe that none is available, employers will find them too old, they lack the necessary schooling or training, or they face other types of discrimination. In 2014, 218,000 mature workers indicated they wanted employment but were discouraged by their job prospects," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.