Many older Canadians desire to work and many need to continue working. Studies performed by researchers have shown that when gainfully employed, older citizens experience personal fulfillment, enhanced self-esteem and overall better physical health. Employment also reduces the likelihood of seclusion. People are living longer, which changes the financial picture. While some work to prevent having to exhaust retirement savings, others need a paycheck to survive. CARP has played a role in helping retired Canadians find employment by hosting job fairs.
However, according to the chairman of the Toronto CARP chapter, Adino Lebo, much more is needed. Employers continue replacing full-time, experienced and skilled older workers with younger counterparts. Businesses are also void of having possible transition type positions that might include fewer hours. Unfortunately, while having the ability to be productive, the societal construct has not changed from the time when most people once quit working after reaching the age of 65.
Some of the options available to older workers include franchised businesses or sales. While these choices do not pose a risk to a potential employer, they may not be the right fit for all needing work. With the limited number of employment opportunities available, competition is steep.
The Ryerson University’s Dean of G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Marie Bountrogianni has a number of recommendations for older workers interested in re-entering the workforce. The first step involves updating a resume. While someone may be able to look at a potential employee and estimate physical age, a resume need not provide absolute proof.
When applying for a particular position, only submit experience or work information that is relevant to the job. Resist the urge to enter dates for previous positions, schooling or training. Think functional rather than chronological. Employment candidates must also demonstrate ways that they have attempted to remain current in the field of interest. Take a class or two if necessary.
During the interview process, employers cannot legally ask a possible employment candidate about age. If the topic comes up in a round about manner, use the moment to insert the many positive aspects of being older. Express the experience gained from working with various age groups or personalities. Enlighten employers as to the reliability and flexibility that an older employee brings to the table by not having the constraints that many younger people possess.
Social media sites are becoming more and more an integral part of many companies for a variety of reasons. Prospective employees may need to use these tools. If having never done so, become familiar with Facebook and Twitter. If having used these platforms in a previous position, say so. However, as many workplaces are wary of having employees with an addiction to these sites, do not exude over enthusiasm for their use.