Being out of work can be a lonely time. It is important to spend time with other people in both business and social environments. Networking events are a great way to achieve both of these and could include Business Link, IIB, Institute of Directors, Chamber of Commerce and many other local business groups. You can even use groups such as Toastmasters which help senior people to develop their public speaking skills as well as providing a forum for both social and business networking. I know many managing directors and chief executives that have been members of Toastmasters!
Visit trade shows and exhibitions
These are another great may to continue to remain in touch with a business and industry environment. What better way to keep up to date with the latest developments and products in an industry where suppliers will give you “free” education about their latest products? Most industry leaders will either have a presence or will visit the main exhibitions in their field. Once again, be aware of who you might meet in the coffee lounge!
Speak to your old customers and suppliers
Whether you have been employed or self employed in the past you will always have business contacts that you have had some connection with among suppliers and customers. Don’t be shy to contact these people and ask them if they have or know of job opportunities in their own company or outside. A huge proportion of vacancies are filled in this way and most of them never reach the open job market or recruitment agents.
Prepare well for any interviews and ask relevant questions
If you have not been to an interview for a long time it can be really difficult to should fluent and coherent when difficult questions are thrown at you. Prepare for your interview in exactly the same way as you would advise a youngster to prepare for their first ever interview. if you have a friend or colleague that you can practise with, so much the better. Many interviewers will also judge you on the questions you ask them. Do your research and use your own questions as an opportunity to demonstrate that you have really thought about the role and how it would operate in practise. In summary, prepare well – it will prove to be time well spent.
Make sure your resume or CV are up to date and well written
CV styles have changed a little in recent years and more emphasis is put on the actual skills you have developed rather than just the list of previous job titles and experience. Write an eye-catching paragraph at the top of the first page which describes your skills, interests and aspirations. Make them want to read more……
Ensure your public profile on networking sites does you justice
I have met many people who have used social media sites for fun and now regret this because prospective employers are also looking at the rude jokes and pranks that seem to keep coming back to the surface. It has been said that 75% of employers will look up a candidates profile before offering a job. In many cases they are looking to see who your network of friends or connections are, in order to build up an image of who you are. You have been warned!
This may sound too obvious to mention but it can never be overemphasised. Try to look the part and to fit in with the environment that you are visiting. I would always encourage you to dress slightly smarter than you would expect to be if you are successful in winning the job. And remember your hair, makeup, shoes and hygiene, as well as your clothes. Remember you may get caught in traffic or on a hot sweaty train beforehand. If you allow plenty of time, you won’t have to get hot and flustered if this happens. And when you meet your interviewer, don’t forget to SMILE
Know your strengths
Many of us are shy about discussing our strengths and as a result we never actually think about them. These days employers are looking for clear thinking decisive people who may be able to help their company through the recession. Once you know your strengths, you will be better positioned to apply them to this cause and this will come across at interview.
Being out of work can have a dramatic effect on one’s self esteem and confidence. Try to make sure you stay positive by reading inspirational books and biographies, taking proper breaks (preferably outdoors), and don’t ignore your social life just because you may have temporarily hit hard times.
Become a freelancer
An increasing number of people are turning to freelance work because it suits their lifestyle and work preferences. There are unlimited opportunities in this area, including writing and editing jobs, customer support, technical support, proof reading, article writing, accounting, HR, training, and many more. It is well worth registering with a freelance organisation such as GoFreelance.com just to keep you in the loop and expose you to the risk of finding something you really enjoy!
By Joe G. Nathan: If you would like more information on work, business and job opportunities for over 40s please visit http://jobsforover40s.info/about/