So you’re feeling discouraged. All around you, you see young people who are always hooked in, online, surfing and texting and Tweeting. They know all the latest industry buzzwords. And they have so much energy! Meanwhile, the only Blackberry you’re familiar with is the one you put on your bran cereal in the morning. You haven’t learned to text on your cell phone because the screen’s too small to see without your glasses. And now you’re looking for work. You wonder what you have to offer, and why an employer might choose you over someone young.
To help build your confidence, let’s look at some of the reasons employers often prefer older workers, and the special skills they have to offer:
1. Loyalty. Older workers were raised in an era when you found a job and stayed with it. It’s much less likely you’ll be job hopping as is becoming so common today.
2. Work ethic. Older workers are less likely to take sick days when they aren’t actually sick. It feels wrong to them.
3. Experience. You can teach someone a job, but you can’t teach them the wisdom, discernment and good judgment that come with years of experience.
4. Contacts. Older workers who have stayed in one place tend to have endless contacts and a great ability to network that a younger person just won’t have.
5. Freedom. No worries about an older worker needing time off to care for a sick child, no maternity or paternity leave.
6. Maturity. Certain professions, particularly those dealing with people under stress, require a person who can project authority, dignity, empathy. This comes with age and life experience, and isn’t something you can learn at school or online.
Remember, as you go out into the workforce, you have a lot to offer that a young person doesn’t. Don’t feel embarrassed or defensive: you’re not old and out of touch – you’re mature and experienced! Any employer would be lucky to have you. If you keep this in mind, you’ll be able to approach this challenge with new confidence and energy.
Lorraine E. Wright of http://21stcenturyresumes.ca. 21st Century Resumes designs technology-friendly, attention-grabbing resumes and cover letters, customized uniquely for each job seeker, to present them at their very best in today’s crowded and competitive job market.