I just finished listening to Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder.com tell a room full of boomers how to “shift into a new career.” A show of hands quickly indicated that many of the attendees wanted a job – any job. Another 1/3 were working, unhappy, and looking. So the focus of the session was really about how someone in our age group can find a job.
- 41% of the workforce is 55+, the largest percentage since 1962.
- 53% of workers over 45 work for a younger boss.
- There are now 5 unemployed workers for every available job. Ouch.
- The average job posted on CareerBuilder.com receives 50 applications. Double ouch.
Two fastest growing sectors for 50+ employment: health care and education
The industry expects there to be 3.2 million new healthcare jobs by 2018. A huge component of that growth will be home caregivers. Unfortunately, I am concerned that a lot of boomers will be receiving, not giving, that care.
Another trend that is important to our age group is the tremendous growth in temporary and part-time employment. There are two reasons for this. First, older workers are interested in part-time work. Second, employers appreciate workers for whom they don’t have to provide benefits.
The problem is that until we are Medicare-eligible, and unless and until healthcare reform makes affordable healthcare available to us, we need those benefits.
This is what Mr. Rasmussen recommended for the 50+ job-seeker:
1. Network and self-promote. Personal referrals are far more important and successful in securing jobs, compared to the other primary resources: online job sites like Careerbuilder.com, and online job boards.
2. Use social networking sites. Facebook and Linked-In were mentioned specifically. I am skeptical about Facebook. Has anyone ever done anything on Facebook except share photos, express their narcissism, and waste time?
3. Update skills. Education was emphasized. No surprise here, as Kaplan University sponsored the presentation.
Rasmussen mentioned a few resources that may be worth checking out:
PrimeCB.com, a site specifically for the 50+ job-seeker.
Finally, Careerbuilder is introducing a new feature on its site that will provide anonymous feedback to an applicant as to how he/she matches up with the other applicants for the same position. That may help you understand why you might not have been contacted after applying.
Here is my bottom line: I am so grateful to have a job and I have great empathy for my contemporaries who do not. Here’s hoping that healthcare reform will make it easier for those who want and need to work at least part-time.