How to Stay Relevant in the workforce After the Age of 50
By James Zachary
The business world and workforce have undergone many changes in the past 20 years and not all of them have to do with the recession.
Many industries that specialize in or are dependent on information technology have found it cost effective to outsource either the programming and development side of their business, or the data center side of the business, or both overseas to places such as India.Many manufacturing jobs have traveled overseas to China.When companies are looking to cut costs in trying economic times, many of them start with the highest payed employees, and frequently those people are age 50 or over. To stay relevant in this new global workforce and keep the job you have or find a new one, older workers must take a page from the playbook of younger workers and embrace some of the new technology available.
If you’re not on social media most notably Linked-In and Facebook, now is the time to embrace it.
Start with a Linked-In profile that is well written, that outlines your education and work experience and be sure to include a professional-looking digital camera head shot of yourself. Begin connecting with business associates and recommending their work. Additionally, ask them to recommend you. This tells any potential employer that you understand the importance of networking.
While a Facebook account is not as vital, it is also a powerful networking tool. Once you are established and connect with friends and family, you can send out messages to literally thousands of people with one post. You can find old friends and add them to your network as word of mouth and having a friend in the right place can go a long way in helping you find a job or in learning new skills that will help you to retain the job you have. One of the last things you want to viewed as in this digital age is someone who is not up to date with the latest technology and trends.
Tip 2: Image matters.
Most people would agree that looking your best at all times plays a big part in how people perceive you and helps in making a positive first impression. Take a long, hard look in the mirror and get the feedback of an honest friend or family member. Is your hair or your wardrobe up to date with a business dress code that has changed drastically in the past 20 years? If you’re man, odds are they are not. Take a look at what today’s business leaders are wearing and get a make-over so you can sport a younger, and more vibrant look.
Tip 3: If you can make it rain, you will always have a job.
Making it rain means bringing in the business. Do not think of yourself as a cog in a machine, nor look to an employer as your provider. If you focus on ways you can bring in new business to any work place, especially in tough economic times, you will always have a place at the company table because you will add more value to the bottom line than you take away from it.
Tip 4: Adapt, Adapt, Adapt.
The world is constantly changing, and if you want to stay active in a marketplace past the age of 50, you must adapt too. If you have gotten too old to adapt, improvise, and change, you just may be too old to contribute to a business.