Despite age discrimination legislation, attitudinal change is slow. This means that for many older people finding a job suddenly turns from merely being a challenge to a potentially critical and soul-detroying outright problem. Unfortunately there is neither an easy solution, nor one that will work for all, but that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done.
A new book, Finding Work Over 40 builds from the starting point that one size doesn’t fit all in this arena, and is directed specifically at managers and professionals aged 40 to 65. This is a group that the authors call “the forgotten workforce” – one that is assumed to be okay but, in reality, may be much in need of advice and assistance in this arena.
Alongside this, the book acknowledges that this is a time at which many people start to examine their career and life goals and contemplate making changes for the remainder of their working life. So, not only is this a guide to finding work as a result of externally driven events such as redundancy, but also a practical guide to voluntary later life career change including making the transition to self-employment or a portfolio career.
How new will people find the material in this guide will depend on how much research they have already done in this field. After all, even for those for whom this is an entirely unexplored arena, it’s not rocket science. The authors’ basic recommendation for finding work is “Know yourself, sell yourself and network like crazy” and based on their own experiences in working with the over 45s in job clubs for white collar workers, that’s a mantra that’s probably as good as any for helping people focus effort and maintain momentum.
Overall, this is a timely and commendable book. For those seeking work or a career change it is a rich source of both practical advice (how to apply for a job, interview techniques), and inspiration (motivate yourself, self-assessment).