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Define your work and financial goals: Pick up Great Jobs for Everyone 50+ today!

En español | It was around 1 p.m. I had finished up some meetings on Wall Street and was taking the subway back to midtown. The train should have been empty, but it was packed.

A fellow passenger recognized me, and we started talking. I quickly learned that he and thousands of others had just lost their jobs at Citibank. All of those folks were on their way home to tell their husbands, wives, families, and mortgage companies that they no longer had jobs.

See also: How to find a job online.

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In an uncertain economy, it's important to keep job skills up to date. — Getty Images

Here's what I told that man (in a nice, loud voice) and what I'd like to tell you, too, if you've recently taken that sad ride home: "You've lost your job, but you haven't lost your skills, talent, or expertise. What you've got to do now is create opportunities."

Or maybe you have a job, but you're afraid of losing it. That's understandable. Gone are the days when a solid track record meant automatic job security. To hold on to work in this economy, you must constantly demonstrate your value.

Fortunately, our digital age has created some wonderful tools for finding employers and showing your strengths. But when it comes to discovering or keeping a job, nothing beats good old-fashioned face time and up-to-date skills. When you shake the hand of a potential employer or hiring manager, you convey a look of confidence, passion, and genuine interest that cannot be downloaded.

AARP regularly honors the 50 Best Employers for Workers Over 50®. These companies go out of their way to create a welcoming workplace for older employees. But they aren't the only employers who value seasoned workers. Look around and you'll discover forward-thinking companies that are a good fit for your unique talents. To attract those companies, you need to maximize your opportunities and burnish your personal brand. Here's what the hiring pros advise.

Next: Sign up for social media (immediately). >>

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