Diary of an older jobseeker: I’ve found a job

It’s new year, new job, finally, for our blogger Stephen Burge who reflects on what he has learned from the jobseeking process.


The battle to find a new job continued to be fought, even as Christmas and the New Year closed in on us. Despite the many obstacles encountered as an over 55 looking for work, I had started to see signs that the recent CV tweaks and having three CVs for different industry sectors was working as in the first three weeks of December I achieved three first stage interviews and two seconds.

If you have ever watched the movie “The Founder”, one thing that Ray Kroc attributed his success in building the McDonalds brand to was “perseverance” and for anyone over 55 in today’s job market, that is exactly what they are going to need a huge amount of.

Being able to manage consistent rejection is easier as you are older, but no less wearing. I have found that placing emphasis more on what you can bring to the team and to a business rather than trying to display your personal skills against someone with a newly acquired degree works better.

Unfortunately, ageism is still a problem, so in circumstances where other, younger candidates may seem to have more to offer, reminding yourself of what makes you stand out from the crowd is a quick and effective way to build awareness and confidence in yourself and your own worth.

Thankfully, my perseverance has paid off and on January 3rd I started a new career as a business development manager for Morgan D Vere Partners, in the will, estate planning and trusts department.

This is a role where my age will work in my favour – and they are out there – dealing with people who are at the stage of their lives where they need to deal with personal and business estate planning.

Unlike the interviews I attended before I knew I was in with a great chance as immediately I was made aware that this role would require an older hand with experience, empathy and an ability to talk people through possibly difficult circumstances.

Those skills are what many workplaces are missing when they adopt an ageist approach to hiring new staff.

I was staggered to learn that, according to recent research, between 54% and 61% of UK adults do not have a will. This means that, for 30 to 31 million people, their property, financial and other assets could be left to someone they have not chosen when they die. Many people have no idea how to make a will and have nothing in place to protect their estate and business in the event of death or partner death. The Government “loves” these people.

So, a new chapter with Morgan D Vere Partners finally begins and I am back in the workplace after what I described as a battle before and I will continue to use that term. It’s an interesting role and I will enjoy helping people protect their hard-earned estate from the Government’s tax and revenue collectors in the event of death.

If you are over 55 and looking for a new role, make sure you are prepared to do battle and before you start your search, ensure that you drink a huge glass of perseverance. But do not get downhearted as I am proof that new roles for older people are out there.

Good luck to you all.

Comments [1]

  • David Atkins says:

    Dear Stephen, thank you for sharing your experience with some very useful tips. Sadly ageism is still a problem and the government through the DWP really has nothing of substance to contribute in terms of actual support for older jobseekers, other than links to a few websites. The real challenge is confronting and changing the mindset of employers so that they will initiate a cultural change within their organisations.

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