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As Chief Career Counselor for RetirementJobs.com and the Work Columnist for AARP.org, I have assisted hundreds of age 50+ job seekers. I have also been age 60+ job seeker myself and confronted many of the issues you refer to.
Please don't take this as judgmental, but the biggest obstacle that older job seekers face is their own mindset about age. When, despite a solid work record and qualifications, there are no offers of work, we look for a reason and too often older workers focus on age - and it could well be age bias. The people who succeed in their searches appear to be those who persist and don't become bitter or cynical - these thoughts don't help us at all.
We're aging! That's how things work. I know it can be difficult, particularly in a labor market as challenging as we face today. I'm not going to give you the old "when the going gets tough, the tough get going" line. You've faced and overcome adversity before - I'm sure of that. There's no secret formula to finding a good job, but here are my recommendations:
(1) - Search in industries that value experienced workers including healthcare, education, personal in-home care, insurance, retail and banking.
(2) Identify age friendly employers at AARP's National Employer Team and 50 Best Employers for Age 50+ Workers. AARP.org/Money/Work). Check Retirement Jobs.com's Age Friendly Employer listing (I'm sending this listing directly to you). There are excellent employers who have stated they're eager to hire age 50+ workers.
(3) Apply your strongest qualifications which probably include computer skills, communications and interpersonal relations. Perhaps you stop thinking of yourself as a "paralegal" but instead as a highly capable administrator or customer service professional.
(4) Here are several specific occupations and employers you might consider - major hospitals, Blue Cross Blue Shield, grocery stores (yup - they're great employers in general), the Federal government (don't worry about revealing your age - they want older workers) especially the Social Security Administration, a temporary staffing agency until you find a regular position, insurance companies, and personal care giving providers (refer to the AARP National Employer Team list).
(5) Forget about "work at home" opportunities. You can't afford the risk of being scammed!
(5) - Get "in shape" for your job search. Make certain you're attending to your health, eat well, exercise, socialize, and get engaged - maybe a part time or volunteer job until you land the work you want. There's no denying that job searching can be difficult, discouraging and even depressing. Recognize how difficult it can be emotionally. Be proud of your capabilities and age and be confident there are employers who will think you're the ideal candidate. This is really your only choice. Best wishes in your job search. Bob Skladany
Thank you very much for your helpful information about jobs for seniors. Looking for new employment after enjoying a 35-year career is somewhat daunting. I appreciate the names or websites I can visit to look for senior-freindly employers.