Information, helpful advice, and commentary about topics relevant to relaunchers.

Hitting the Big Five-O

It's all about attitude!

Yes, I know the two things a woman is not supposed to reveal are her age or her weight, but I think we’ve been too defensive, especially about age. I just hit the Big Five-oh! and thank God I’m reveling in it. In 1971, when Loving Care came out with “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better,” I couldn’t relate. But now, I couldn’t agree more. So don’t feel your marketability has plummeted just because you’ve hit the Big One. You can make it work for you, or at least keep it from working against you, if you follow these steps.

  1. You’ve probably got at least 30 years of professional and personal acquaintances. Put them and their networks to work for you by connecting with them on LinkedIn, Facebook or wherever they digitally hang out. 
  2. Got older kids instead of cuddly little ones?  Make them teach you online tricks in exchange for the car, money or anything else you have that they want.
  3. Don’t let on that you’re a digital dinosaur, if you are. Fake it ‘til you make it. And dedicate a few moments of everyday to learning something new on your computer, so that ultimately you won’t be faking it any more.
  4. Remember that the recession is keeping boomers in the workforce longer than expected. The majority of the labor force is now over 40, and the percentage over 50 is climbing steadily. So don’t assume you’ll be working for someone your daughter’s age. There are still plenty of “us” out there.
  5. If you’ve got hobbies that connote energy and fitness, include them on your resume. I’m partial to marathoners and triathletes, and I bet other recruiters are too.
  6. Experience is valuable, but so is the ability to learn something new. If you can convey that you’ve got judgment and perspective but that you’re also a quick study and enthusiastic pupil then I think you can overcome resistance to “the age barrier.”
  7. If you’re worried about your age, others will be too. If it’s not an issue to you, chances are it won’t be an issue to others.
  8. It’s never too late to start exercising. If you’ve let your body go to seed, reclaim it. Even a 20-minute walk a day will do wonders for your energy and mood, not to mention, over time, your physique. And it’s free!
  9. Don’t discount the value of good, old-fashioned wisdom, the kind that’s only acquired with age. People are people, no matter whether they communicate by cellphone or pony express. You can’t brag about it on a resume but, if you’re over 50, chances are younger people are turning to you for advice more often than you realize.
  10. We recently heard about a woman who returned to the workforce after decades at home. She was over 80 when she nabbed an internship. And when she applied, she didn’t think her age was a factor. Now that’s the right attitude!

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