Australia’s ageing population is set to increase the number of mature aged workers in the market. While this creates a great opportunity for business to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience that this growing pool of workers brings, mature aged job seekers still face many hurdles in a highly competitive job market.
We recently spoke to Paul Di Michiel, Author of Fired to Hired, The Guide to effective job search for the over 40’s, to get his insights on the challenges and how mature aged job seekers can gain the competitive advantage.
“My own experiences of job loss resulted in me taking the conscious decision to change careers from Human Resources into career coaching. I had only been working in my new field for a few years when I felt inspired to put pen to paper and to share not only my experiences but those of other mature-age workers facing the challenge of job search. It’s fair to say that job search has changed significantly over the last 10-15 years with the advent of things like LinkedIn, but also the far more competitive nature of job search”.
What are the challenges faced by mature aged Australians who are looking for work?
Paul believes that one of the biggest challenges faced by people over 40 who are looking for a job is often ironically themselves. “I often hear the over 40s saying things like ‘who would want me? I’m 40/50/60?, employers only want younger people’.
My response to these concerns is to understand that while prejudice and bias against age is undoubtedly present in the market, there are just as many if not more employers who simply want the best person for the job and in fact see the stability, wherewithal and experience of mature-age workers as a distinct business advantage”.
Paul urges mature aged Australians to forget about the barriers that could come up in their job search and to simply focus on ensuring they are presenting their best possible selves; forgetting about the challenges you might face and instead focusing on your advantages will higher your chances of landing your next great job!
Whether or not you believe the stereotypes that exist about generational difference in the workforce, Paul suggests that these can be used to your advantage when selling your strengths.
- Highlight your extensive career and the fact that you relish the opportunity to mentor others by passing on your experience and skills
- Talk about your values and how these have changed throughout your career. “I regularly see my mature aged clients wanting to work in Not-for-Profit or charitable organisations on the basis that they are able to contribute to something meaningful and to make a difference”.
- Emphasise to the person who is hiring you that you’re interested in long term employment. “I have found that mature aged workers tend to ‘see out’ their time with one company, rather than needing to continually change”.
Paul sees working as an independent care worker through Better Caring as a great option for those looking for a way to contribute and help others as part of a broad community.
“I think there’s no greater calling that providing genuine care for those in need and would strongly encourage people to consider Better Caring as an option for an independent and fulfilling career in this space”.
For those already on the platform and looking to expand their client base, Paul suggests the following tips:
- Get out into the market and meet people! “I’ve seen statistics that say around 80% of job opportunities are never advertised. Even if this 40% or even 20%, that’s a whole lot of roles that never reach online job boards or that are placed with recruiters”. It is important to remember that most people you meet won’t just have a job available then and there. However, networking and promoting yourself will pay off in the long run, as people will keep you in mind in the future if they are looking for care or support. The following list is an example of the people and places you can visit. You can get many of the addresses and phone numbers from your local council.
- Public and Private hospitals – ask for the discharge nurse, social workers or aged care team
- Health professionals such as GPs, physiotherapists, optometrists, pharmacists
- Carelink and Carer Respite Centres
- Local council information centres
- Retirement villages and nursing homes
- Hospices Day centres for people with disabilities
- Rehabilitation centres
- Senior citizens centres
- Retirement Villages
- Meals on Wheels
- District nursing services
- Multicultural groups
- RSL Clubs
- Carer support groups – such as those run by Alzheimer’s Australia
- Financial and legal service providers
- Service clubs: Rotary, Lions, Probus etc
2. “Thank the person you have met for their time and input. Rather than just paying for their coffee, you might want to share something newsworthy or valuable to them. Networking in this way makes you more memorable with lots of positive inferences about how you’d function in the work environment”.
Demonstrating that you’re well prepared and informed about what’s happening in the industry can help to build confidence with potential clients. Check out the Resource Section of the Better Caring website for up-to-date, useful information on what’s happening in the industry.
3, Use Better Caring’s resources to promote yourself. There is a number of useful information and tips that you can access in Better Caring’s Resource Centre for Care Workers.
4. Better Caring can also supply you with a digital copy of print-ready personalised business cards and flyers (at no charge). These are available to download straight from your profile! Click here for more information.
If you’re interested in becoming a care or support worker on Better Caring, you can start creating your profile today. Sign up now for free!
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