Work & Purpose

Smart Ways to Find a Job After 50 Now

Be proactive and take advantage of a hot business trend

Finding work after 50 continues to be challenging, but it can be done.

If you’re stuck in the attach-your-resumé-and-hit-the-send-button mode, heed advice from Blake Nations, CEO of Over50JobBoard.com. Nations, 59, of Atlanta, who knows whereof he speaks.

Three years ago, the former medical recruiting executive was out of work. Despite a 25-year career working in the recruiting field, Nations wound up taking an entry-level recruiting job which paid far less than what he’d earned before. In fact, the pay was so low, he took a “supplemental” part-time job at a grocery store.

Job Sites for People 50+

Nations says many other laid-off boomers are finding themselves in similar straits. “They’re having to look at other options,” he notes.

Sites like his — such as Aarp.org, Workforce50.com and the 50+ filter at SimplyHired.com — are specifically targeting 50+ job seekers.

Look for industries, and specific companies, that are 'reshoring.' These are manufacturers bringing jobs back to the U.S. or planning to do so.

Through his industry connections and word of mouth, Nations says his site lists job openings at companies that “are over-50 friendly.” They include the likes of Macy’s, Comcast, CVS, Home Depot, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, Kroger and La Quinta Inns and Suites. Its job categories include customer service (16,041 jobs recently); management (2,619); manufacturing (858); education (855) and accounting (384).

Becoming Aggressive as a Job Seeker

But Nations says sites like his are just a first step for job hunters, who should use them “to find out who is hiring.” Then, he says, you need “to be aggressive” by going into prospective employers’ offices and meeting people.

“If you can get in front of people, that’s always going to be good,” he says.

Nations’ advice: Once you know what job you’d like to have at a local employer, find out who the supervisor is and try to meet with him or her for 15 minutes. If you can’t get someone on the phone to get the supervisor’s name, says Nations, “Just walk in, saying, ‘I want to leave my resumé.’”

He adds: “You can’t worry about what anybody thinks. You just have to go out there. If you’re sitting at home, you have to take these kind of measures.”

Nation suggests you try to find someone who works where you want to and can tell you who the hiring manager is. This is especially useful, he says, if you live in a small town or rural area.

He also says you shouldn’t rule out a lower-paying job than the last one you had if the new position will let you get your foot in the door and there are opportunities to move up quickly.

Finding a Job Through ‘Reshoring’

Another way to find work now: Look for industries, and specific companies, that are “reshoring.” These are manufacturers bringing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas or planning to do so.

According to Harold Sirkin, a Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, reshoring industries include computers and electronics; transportation equipment; appliances and electrical equipment; furniture and fabricated metal equipment. Sirkin calls it “a manufacturing renaissance.”

Volvo, for instance, has chosen Berkeley County, S.C., for its first manufacturing facility in the Western hemisphere. That plant is expected to create 2,000 jobs in the next decade and as many as 4,000 by 2030.

Most industry analysts agree that the reshoring moves are “driven by China,” as Sirkin describes it. With wages there rising faster than productivity and steep transportation costs, China has become less attractive as a place for manufacturing, he said.

To find firms that might be reshoring, or hiring near you in general, set up Google Alerts for news about local employers. In addition, read the business pages or website of your newspaper to keep informed about which industries are moving in and which are likely to be hiring.

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