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I’m 58 and have been threatened with redundancy. I have been doing more or less the same job – in accounts – for 35 years and my confidence is low. I’m not even sure I want to stay in accounts, but it seems like that is where my experience is and, given the current jobs market, I am more likely to get an interview at least in that field. Where should I begin?
Given the current job market and the uncertainties that come with it, the easiest job search is ‘same skills, same sector’ i.e. staying in the field where you’re well known and where your current skillset lies. The most effective way of finding a job is through a networking connection – over 75% roles come through your network. I’d recommend reconnecting with previous managers, colleagues, suppliers etc. to let them know what you’re looking to do, so they can be your eyes and ears.
I’d start with your ‘self-marketing’ strategy – update your CV and then make it consistent with your LinkedIn profile. A CV is important, but nowadays your online brand is even more important. Try to reach to ‘All Star Status’ on LinkedIn so your profile shows up to recruiters in algorithms and ask for written recommendations from people you’ve worked with to further stand you out.
There’s a lot of free job search content out there, such as on LinkedIn Live. At 10Eighty, we run a session every Wednesday from 12 – 12.30 pm on a topic related to the job search to help job seekers.
Think about your values, strengths and skills – what’s important to you in your next role and what don’t you want to compromise over. What’s going to get you out of bed in the morning? What sort of culture is important to you?
Come up with a list of companies you’d like to work for and use your network to get in front of the ‘point of purchase’ (LinkedIn shows 2nd and 3rd degree connections). Alternatively you can approach recruitment agencies to see which jobs they have on their books or search for roles online.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone. In order to be your ‘best self’ it’s helpful to think positively to get you in the right mindset, especially when interviewing, and never talk badly of your old company.
I believe in the current climate, you are more likely to land a role in the same field you’ve been working in. This next role could be a springboard to something different if that’s what you’d like it to be, and you could more proactively manage your career when the job market is more stable.
One question to bear in mind relates to timescales – have you worked out how long you don’t need to earn for? If it’s a shorter timeframe I’d recommend the ‘same skills, same sector’ search; but if you have more time, such as six to 12 months, you might like to look at transferrable skills to another sector or upskilling.
*Liz Sebag-Montefiore is a career coach and Director of 10Eighty, a strengths-