How have you maintained your work ethic

Job search from 50: tips for a new job with 50 plus

There can be various reasons for looking for a job over the age of 50, which are basically no different from looking for a job in younger years: The position has been rationalized, the company has filed for bankruptcy or perhaps the employment contract was only limited in time. A changed working atmosphere is also a reason for many employees to look elsewhere. In contrast to young professionals, job seekers aged 50 and over are not exactly part of the highly sought-after group of applicants. When are you too old for the job market? We are investigating this question and looking at how employees can still find a new job with "50 plus" ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

When are you too old for the job market?

A new job at the age of 50 or 55 seems unimaginable for many people. For a long time, the image in the minds of HR managers was (and is) omnipresent: young, dynamic, successful. Interestingly, those who think so are often in their fifties themselves.

This thinking is no coincidence, as Lars Hahn, managing director of the educational institution LVQ, says:

At the turn of the millennium, the labor market was heavily influenced by early retirement programs; With severance payments and part-time work for older workers, older workers who slipped from their job through unemployment and Hartz IV, so to speak, into retirement were disposed of.

No more job after 50

Younger employees are often preferred: Fresh from university, equipped with the latest specialist knowledge and, above all, malleable - that's how many employers like it. Young professionals do not yet have the work experience of their older colleagues, who are much more aware of their duties and rights as employees.

By contrast, workers aged 50 and over have to struggle with many prejudices:

  • Mentally too inflexible to be able to adjust to something new.
  • Incapable of learning with regard to computers, software and new media.
  • Frequent sick leave is feared due to health problems.
  • Too expensive for the company due to extensive professional experience.

That is why it must often be stated: Such a job search at 50 is not easy. Often, due to these prejudices, applicants do not even make it into the shortlist, even though their qualifications match. On the other hand, a lot has changed in the past 20 years.

Last but not least, demographic change means that employers have to rethink their way of thinking, and older employees are becoming more attractive for companies again. In order to counter the shortage of skilled workers, one possibility is to fall back on job seekers aged 50 or older.

Why a job is still important even at 50

Those who are 50 years old today have to work until they are 67 years old. 17 years beforehand on the sidelines - how is that supposed to work? Not to mention the financial losses that most people would have to accept when they retire: For many people, work is not just a necessary evil, but a path to self-fulfillment.

In addition, work gives the daily structure, through contact with work colleagues from different backgrounds, work keeps you mentally fit, stimulates the exchange with people who think differently and ensures social ties. What would work be without an after-work beer with colleagues every now and then?

Doing a job every day, feeling like doing meaningful tasks and contributing to a bigger picture, increases self-esteem immensely.

Sure, there can be health reasons why someone does not want to or cannot work until retirement. In other cases, relatives may need to be cared for or special circumstances may make early retirement necessary. But that is not the norm.

Indispensable for job seekers: Know your strengths

Mid-life is an exciting time for older workers in many ways. There are people here who already have life and work experience - nobody can show them an X for a U so quickly. And job seekers need to be aware of these and other advantages:

  • Experience

    At that age, starting a family and sometimes even building a house are behind you. Phases in which, in addition to work, almost impossible logistical and organizational skills were required. These employees have mostly successfully mastered various challenges and crises and know where they stand in life. Therefore, the conscious decision to try something new professionally before retirement can be the reason why someone is planning a job change at the age of 50 - even though everything went smoothly so far and the path seemed to be mapped out.

  • Standing

    Young, inexperienced workers are often less aware of their rights. That can hardly happen to an employee aged 50+. Are you such a silver worker? Then you have probably already seen various bosses come and go, and have gained a certain wisdom of age and serenity. While young colleagues may wear themselves out in some places, sit back and know that certain things are not worth getting excited about. At the same time, you have the courage to speak inconvenient truths because you know your labor rights.

  • values

    The demand can often not be met with young people alone, especially since they for their part are struggling with the permission paradox: the age is appropriate, but the professional experience is (logically) not given. However, quite a few employers are not comfortable with this completely without practical knowledge. And there is another aspect: The current young generation of workers Y and Z often have completely different ideas about the world of work and what it should offer them than the other way around: A high salary is welcome, but leisure and private life are highly valued. This is not always compatible with a high level of commitment and overtime, and work ethics sometimes lag behind.

  • Objective

    Younger employees are often unable to state this so clearly, they have more of an idea of ​​what they are doing do not want. Based on your life experience, you know much more clearly what you want, what your work environment must look like, so that you can achieve your full performance with commitment. This will help you to advance your application efforts in accordance with your interests and values.

  • Life planning

    As an employee at the age of 50, family planning is usually completed and some of the children have already left the house. This is a decisive advantage over younger employees, who often have an unfulfilled desire to have children and take parental leave shortly after starting work. The fear of frequent sickness reports from best agers can also be put into perspective at this point: Younger employees with children may themselves have more robust health, but they may then have their children written off sick.

5 tips for looking for a job from the age of 50

A job change at 50? Still having success as a career changer over 50? Or in general: Finding a job at 55 - is that possible? We say yes. To ensure that your job search works for people aged 50 and over, here are the following tips for the application process:

  • Self esteem

    As stated above, there are a number of aspects that speak for you and your age. Be aware of these advantages and approach your job search with confidence. This attitude will be reflected in your cover letter and later also in the interview.

  • courage

    The right mindset is a basic requirement: Have the courage to change. That can mean having to make certain compromises - for example in terms of salary. Courage also to leave the typical path; Do another internship at 50 - why not? If you want to enter a new area as a career changer, the best way to show through your commitment is that you are not too bad to slip again from the role of experienced professional to that of learner and acquire new knowledge. Courage can also mean considering relocating for a job.

  • renovation

    Experienced specialists and managers sometimes make the mistake of trusting too much in their professional positions. They do not deal enough with their previous successes, believe that their résumé speaks for itself. Others, on the other hand, pack whatever they can think of into it. In any case, it is important that you completely revise your documents. You should be able to highlight important stations and achievements and, if necessary, give references. The application photo must also be new: Usually no older than two years.

  • Help

    In some cases it can make sense to call in a coach or application advisor who will go through your professional successes with you and, for example, help to plausibly explain a job change for the cover letter.

  • Networks

    Do not underestimate the hidden job market: Not only is it significantly larger than the proportion of jobs that are published via job advertisements, but the competition is also significantly lower. Overall, gives you significantly better chances than just applying for ads. To find out about such positions, you need an intact network that you have ideally built up and maintained over the years. This includes friends, family and acquaintances, as well as former colleagues from other jobs. If your network fell asleep for a while, you can find out HERE how to activate your contacts.

And one more thought for the probationary period, if the application worked:

The fact that you are older than the average of your colleagues can lead to the fact that you let the "bugger" hang out - after all, you have professional and life experience. However, be careful with unintentional criticism and know-it-alls.

Your experience shouldn't hide the fact that you're entering a new job, with new team rules, as a newbie - no matter how old you are. Don't mess with younger colleagues from whom you can learn something.

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Further sources and advice

Application tips
➠ Application templates
➠ 11 application forms
➠ ABC of application tips
➠ Application folder
➠ Application photo
➠ cover sheet
➠ Brief profile

Tips on the résumé
➠ CV in tabular form
➠ Resume templates
➠ Internships on the résumé
➠ hobbies on the resume
➠ Unemployment on the résumé
➠ gaps in the résumé

Tips for covering letters
➠ Cover letter
➠ Introductory sentence in the cover letter
➠ Final sentence in the cover letter
➠ Interests in the cover letter
➠ Strengths in the cover letter
➠ Attachment directory

Tips on the job reference
➠ Assess job reference
➠ Secret codes in the certificate
➠ Interim report
➠ Job description
➠ References & samples

Special applications
➠ Unsolicited application
➠ Internal application
➠ Discreet application
➠ Email application
➠ Online application
➠ Application as a temporary worker
➠ Application for mini jobs
➠ Application after termination