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Jobs for Older Workers

Updated on April 26, 2012

older workers looking for jobs have several go to sources

Older workers are finding it more than difficult to find a job in our current economy. Many are told they are overqualified or have the wrong skills. However, could it really be that you are too old? An applicant’s age should not be considered for employment, but many older workers are finding it more than difficult to find employment. Are there jobs for older workers in our current atmosphere of employment? According to the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act there certainly should be.

Retirement age not many generations ago was around 50 to 55 years old. Times have changed for retirement age along with everything else. There are more older Americans that are in the job hunt with the rest of America at this time than ever before. The one thing that makes them different from everyone else out there on the hunt is their age.

Older workers are just as dedicated and invested in working, more so in nearly all cases, as any other aged worker. However, senior workers looking for jobs are not getting the same prospect to prove it that a 25 or 35 year old does. The gray hair and date of birth puts them in a special category that cannot be hid similar to something along the lines of religion or even gender in some cases.

There are not a lot of job descriptions that outline they need older workers. Older workers are finding the job opportunities that were once there are no longer available or opportunities that should be there have vanished. There are a couple of things that older workers can do to avoid any discrimination and show what they have to offer as an employee or take another career turn that is more successful than the usual course. These are job opportunity ideas for older workers;

a) Don’t retire unless you absolutely have to

This is a real deal. Keep the benefits, pay and bonuses that go away with retirement. With the unions leaving a lot of employers several decades ago the retirement packages that are received are certainly not what they used to be.

Not being able to live off of what you earn as a retiree is the reason many retirees have gone back to the work force. If you don’t have to retire from your current employer, work as long as possible. Jobs for seniors are not plentiful and hard to come by.

b) Be prepared to take a cut in pay and benefit cut

Even though you may have earned a nice salary at your previous employer you may not with a new one. There are a number of senior workers that expect to make the same, if not more, than they earned in their last position. This is not typically the case as an older worker looking for work. Remember that you are usually starting over at the bottom of the seniority ladder so expect to earn less and take a cut in pay in older worker jobs.

c) Start our own business

Although you are not as young as you once were, consider starting your own business. A number of workers over 50 are afraid to take the leap of faith of starting their own business for the same reason why a lot of employers don’t hire them, they are not young anymore. This is a plus in this case.

Starting your own business when you are young does give you the stamina to endure the long hours and lean times. Though, you don’t have the experience you have as an older worker. As an older worker that has been in the workplace for a number of years you have networks and contacts that younger entrepreneurs don’t have. You have the experience that a younger worker doesn’t have. You are also more likely to avoid pitfalls that younger workers experience that create leaner times with the older worker knowledge and skills you possess.

Jobs for older workers certainly exist. Many senior workers need to consider working outside of the typical box. Imagine what you can do with all that you have. The same reasons that workers 55 or older are turned away by employers can be used for success.

d) Use the flexibility you have as an older worker to your advantage

As an older worker there are several advantages you have that should be used. You have flexibility in hours and times to work that other workers may not have. This means that resources such as temp agencies and staffing firms may be useful.

As a retiree with an income that you are looking to supplement temp agencies and staffing firms may work for you. A number of these middlemen are looking for someone flexible with moving to new places after several months or weeks and working different hours. Without daycare and school children to worry about you have flexibility that many younger workers do not.

Additionally, many of these positions are not filled because workers need benefits along with a salary and turn away from positions with temp agencies and staffing firms. If you have benefits through another source, this will be a non-issue for you. This could be a temp job that leads to permanent employment after getting your foot in the door and proving your skill set.

These are resources and advice for jobs for older workers. Don’t forget what you bring to the workforce table and try thinking outside of the usual employment box. Be a little flexible in your golden years for career opportunities and the right job opportunity may be just around the corner.


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    • primpo profile image

      Primpo 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

      good hub, you know what I notice working with the elderly population, they have the mentality that they already paid their dues. In every place I've worked, even with a worker that came in as a new worker, I always respect my elders but in my experience they tend to play by their own rules. Im serv safe certified and have been working around food for a long time. Appetizing is definately different than say a nursing home dietary dept. There was this man who used to work with me in a grocery store and previously he was a manager at a dietary kitchen for a nursing home. He insisted on doing things ass backwards because that is the way he did it where he worked before and he couldn't be swayed no matter how nice I was to him, or explained why. there was another man there who didn't think he had to perform certain duties because of his age. there was a nother woman there who thought she could do what she wanted because she "paid her dues"

      I never disrespect my elders. and it is probably just these people personality but older people seems like they don;t want to be taught anything new. Maybe it is the training when they come in and such. I don't want to work in an environment like that.

      just saying..