Diary of an older jobseeker: Time for a career change?

We’re tracking Stephen Burge’s jobseeking experiences. This week he considers whether he needs to contemplate a career change.

Your New Career sign


Being an over-60 looking for a new job continues to be challenging, and the last week or so I watched several video guidelines and tips videos on maximising your CV’s potential and have implemented minor revisions and changes.
One of the best you tube videos was this one.

However, despite tweaking my CV I have seen a similar story and return on my efforts, with the email rejections having reached 26 for the week. I have managed to have two conversations with recruiters, but, once again, as soon as I mentioned my age (which comes up when I run through my experience) the calls cooled.

One decision I have made is to start applying for more jobs that meet my experience levels and that I really want to do, as getting rejected for low-paid, low-skilled jobs is becoming more demoralising than feeling that you have at least been considered for the role.

I could, of course, grab one of the temporary Christmas jobs, maybe climb into a Santa Suit at a department store or work as a delivery driver, but will those jobs dilute my CV if I add them or do I leave them off, which would be leading me down the path of false information on my CV?

I have been a UK Sales Manager, Area Sales Manager and Account Manager, but still find myself being rejected for even the most basic sales jobs.

Rising pension age

The Government is committed to review within two years of the next Parliament whether the retirement age in the UK should rise to age 68. The Pensions Act 2014 brought forward the increase to 67 to between 2026 and 2028. The current legislated pathway is for the State Pension age to rise 68 between 2044 and 2046.

I do wonder what the economic effect on the country of this policy will be as the workforce is forced to put a higher percentage of their salaries into private pension schemes and therefore have less to spend throughout their working life. Maybe car sales will be hit, holidays, eating out etc.

We must also all ask ourselves how much thought is being put into where these older people will find work. How will people respond to a constantly ageing workforce? Will this cause divisions in the workplace if older people are seen by the young or perceived by the young to be being treated preferentially?

The thought of complete retirement still very much scares me. However, it’s not easy as an over 60 in today’s job market. Nevertheless, I have a second interview next week and I continue to make applications.

The other option I am starting to look at for the new year is whether to sign on for Jobseekers Allowance and retrain for something completely different. I have spoken to several friends and they are all of the same opinion: we have the experience and tools to positively contribute in the workplace, but going back to school might be a big hurdle.

This senior citizen (it says so on my rail card) is, however, determined to find a job and I have a “stay positive” chat with myself every day.

Never give up, never surrender.

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