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Over 50 and Looking for Work


Workers over the age of 50 have their own unique set of problems to overcome, but there are ways for older job seekers to find work that suits them.

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(Photo Credit: slightlyeverything/Flickr)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protects people age 40 and over from discrimination. Employers may not treat employees or job applicants less favorably because of their age.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to stop some employers. Almost half of those over the age of 50 who have looked for a job during the past five years claim that would-be employers were concerned about their age. Sometimes workers over the age of 50 get passed over for promotions or denied the opportunity to learn new skills.

Being able to learn new skills may be the very thing older workers need. Holding a position for many years and then losing it due to downsizing puts older workers in the unenviable position of being perceived as only able to do one thing.


Over-50s who are looking for a job are best off spreading their networking efforts wide. They should tell everyone they know they are looking for a job, and get in touch with people they may not have spoken with for a long time.

Seven Stories

Forbes discusses an exercise called “The Seven Stories,” which involves writing about seven of your proudest achievements. This exercise has two benefits. One, it increases self-confidence. Two, it requires personal reflection, which results in renewed understanding of skills and abilities, as well as clarification of what you want.

Make concessions where you can. For example, if you know you want to work close to home and are offered a position that represents a small pay cut, it may be worth taking it in order to have a shorter commute.

Over-50s looking for a job may have additional issues to overcome, but networking and focusing on what you want and what compromises you can make can help you find your next position.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you experienced age discrimination? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.