Saturday, September 22, 2012

Master These 5 Tips to Get Ahead in the Job Market

During a work coaching session with a client in his late 40s, I was surprised and saddened when he suddenly opened up about his unexpected job loss. He used to be a senior operations manager, but he's now a middle aged man juggling the difficulties of finding a job and supporting his family.
Like my client, things haven't worked out easily for many middle aged men in the UK. Some of them are still jobless, even after two years of trying to seek employment. Those who were lucky enough, were able to find jobs but at half of their previous salary.
My work coaching session with him made me increasingly aware of the current reality for most middle aged workers. Men in their 30s to 50s count on these critical years to make a substantial amount of money to pay off their debts and to save up for retirement. However most of them find this difficult to do because of the competition, their age and the limited opportunities available.
Follow these work coaching tips to get ahead in the job market and to prevent unnecessary discrimination regarding your age:
  1. Let go of your sense of entitlement. You were once a seasoned professional in your field but that doesn't give you the license to brag or to expect preferential treatment from recruiters, hiring managers or even your competition. Nothing is permanent in the world; even your achievements are forgotten. Don't live in the past. Be humble and accept that you need to learn new skills or be trained by somebody younger. Dropping your sense of entitlement will really help you, especially if you have to seek employment in another field.

  2. Don't procrastinate with your job hunt. Even if your unemployment benefits will last for two years, you shouldn't wait long before starting your job hunt. Why? Because if you were let go, there's a huge possibility that other people are getting laid off too! The more you wait, the bigger your competition gets. Aside from that, the process of looking for a job, completing the requirements and training may take longer than you expected. If you don't want to run out of funds before your next paycheck comes in, I suggest you get moving- NOW!

  3. Tap into your other skills and interests. You don't need to stay in the same industry to find a good job. If you have other skills or passions that could help you make a profit, make use of them. Even education or training you received but never used can help you find a job. Using your other skills, such as writing, teaching, cooking or handiwork can help you make a living. If you do these things well, you can even start a sustainable business.

  4. Make your resume look young. What do I mean with this? Simple, age proof your resume by including only work experience related to the position you're applying for. That way, any unnecessary years are removed and you're not categorized as "too old" by any potential employer.

  5. Talk young. This is one of my favorite work coaching tips for people who fear discrimination regarding their age. Don't let the way you talk reveal your age. Quit the "back in the days" talk. Listen to how men in their 20s or early 30s talk and try to adopt their words but try not to go overboard with the colloquialisms. You should also stay up to date with the latest in the media by watching the news, reading the paper and surfing the internet. If you don't know what Facebook or Twitter is, then you certainly have a lot to catch up on.
Starting over is difficult, especially for middle aged men. For my final work coaching advice, I suggest that you keep your mind open to the options available. Accept the fact that you may not get the same job title or compensation. However that doesn't mean you can't go back to that position in the future. For now, work hard and find a job that can help you pay the bills and support your family. When you're stable enough, you can find another job that suits you better.
Trained at The Coaching Academy, the world's largest life-coaching school, Paul delivers his coaching expertise through face-to-face individual or group sessions, or remotely by telephone and online conferencing. Paul's clients come from diverse backgrounds, including from the worlds of art, business, and academia on both sides of the Atlantic.
Paul's unique and upbeat approach to coaching enables each individual to verbalise ideas, goals, and dreams; to explore options; to develop effective directions and plans; and to move forward at a comfortable-yet-productive pace--and all without ever feeling judged or criticised. The result is that Paul's clients are empowered to focus on possibilities and to achieve maximum fulfilment and success in all aspects of their lives.

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