Older Workers Are Finding It Harder To Get Jobs

Older Workers Are Finding It Harder To Get Jobs

Some things get easier as you age, while others get harder. And while you might think years of experience would make the job hunt easier, this isn’t the case. Older workers face more challenges in the job market than young workers. Older women and women of color face even more challenges than most. Learn more about the difficulties waiting for you and what you can do to overcome any obstacles with the hiring process.

Why Is It So Important for Older Workers to Find Jobs?

As the pandemic died down, job availability soared to new heights. However, job availability wasn’t so widespread for older workers. Individuals who had worked the same job for decades suddenly found themselves out of work during the pandemic. Once jobs opened back up, the same workers had to face treacherous reemployment barriers.

The pandemic led to unwanted retirement for thousands of people. In some cases, the former employee’s position was completely eliminated. At other times, employers chose to hire younger workers who had more technological prowess than older ones. In any case, older workers found and still find it difficult to return to work.

Although retirement might sound great to some, these older workers weren’t ready to retire. Approximately 10.7% of Americans 65 or older lived below the poverty line in 2021. Those individuals couldn’t afford to remain out of work. If you look at the statistics for blacks and Hispanics over the age of 65, you see even higher numbers. 16.7% of blacks and 18.8% of Hispanics over 65 lived below the poverty line in 2021.

Why is Employment for Older Workers Hard to Find?

There are a few reasons there are so few jobs for older workers. For one, there’s still the issue of Covid-19. The elderly are at a high risk of catching Covid and experiencing serious complications from it. Therefore, they are less willing to go back into the job market. They’re also more limited in which jobs they feel comfortable taking.

Additionally, older workers are less willing to change careers. If someone spent 30 years building skills and a resume, they won’t be eager to start over. Younger workers have more flexibility to change careers because they haven’t put as much time into building their careers.

Child or family care is also an issue. When daycares shut down, many grandparents opened their homes to their grandchildren. The same is true for older individuals who have sick spouses or parents to care for. After nursing homes closed down and limited visitation, many older workers became full-time caregivers. This is just another obstacle that keeps them from finding work.

Many of the industries that came back strong after the pandemic have a young base. As a result, older workers don’t feel comfortable applying for these jobs. If they do apply for jobs in these industries, they’re facing age discrimination and often have a lack of skills.

Online Job Searches

These days, most employers post job vacancies online. But older workers aren’t looking for jobs online. In fact, in 2015, one research study determined that only 10% of individuals 65 or older searched for jobs online. Even fewer had applied for jobs online. If a person doesn’t know where to find jobs, they won’t have any luck obtaining a job offer.

Age Discrimination

It’s true that there are laws in place to prevent discrimination. Unfortunately, there is still age discrimination. Employers don’t always trust that older workers have the strength or technological prowess to handle jobs as well as younger workers. If you apply for an employer who discriminates based on your age, you don’t have a good chance of overcoming their bias.

Confidence Crisis

Partially due to all the reasons above, older workers tend to have a confidence crisis. This demographic worries that they won’t find a job or get hired. And a lack of confidence keeps them from finding opportunities. When it comes to the job hunt, confidence is key. It keeps you motivated to search for new jobs daily and gives you more confidence during your interview.

How to Improve the Situation for Older Workers

If you’re an older worker looking to get back into the workforce, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of a successful job hunt. First, take advantage of all the programs available to you. Check with your local community college or community outreach program and ask about outreach for older individuals. You may be eligible for a scholarship or a free continuing education program.

In the private sector, some companies are opening their doors to older workers. They want to hire a diverse pool of workers, so as you search pay attention to the job listings. If someone mentions looking for “diverse age groups,” apply for the job immediately. Microsoft, Marriott International, and McDonald’s all are known to be friendly for all ages.

Understand the Employer’s Concerns

As you apply for jobs, be aware of the employer’s concerns. If you’re applying for a job in the tech space, elaborate on all of your experience in the field. The best way to get a job is to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Why might they have concerns about hiring you? Make a list of all the potential concerns, and move on to the next step.

Put Any Concerns to Rest

Once you have your list, come up with rebuttals for all the possible concerns. Are you afraid an employer will think you don’t have tech skills? Make a list of all the recent certifications you have. If you think they’ll assume you can’t handle the physical aspects of the job, talk about how much weight you lifted in your previous job.

Be Confident

Finally, be confident. Don’t let your fears stop you from applying for a job. Use the internet to find jobs and don’t worry if the workplace is full of millennials. There’s a place for you, as long as you remain confident in your abilities.

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