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Friday, October 17, 2008

Over 50 and going back to work?

Heaven forbid that I would ever have to go back to work. I don’t include writing newspaper stories as work because I enjoy that and I have even been paid for my efforts occasionally. I’m talking about having to go back to work full time because of loss on investments or some other tragedy evolving from a bad economy. However, if I did have to put my selling shoes back on and face the current youth oriented brave new world, I would have a few strategies up my sleeve.

Probably any agency would tell you that there is a bias today against workers in their 50s and older. If that pertains to you, as it does me, we better be ready to compete. The first thing I would do is check my appearance. I ditched my 1980s suits a long time ago but I wouldn’t wear them now anyway. Old fashioned clothes project the wrong image. I would invest in a new wardrobe with conservative colored suits. Shirts would be white and light blue with conservative ties and well shined shoes, probably nice loafers. I always took pride in looking professional and would continue that thought.

I would keep my hair in a conservative cut and if I wore glasses, I would have a nice stylish pair, preferably not the ones that turn dark in the sun. I would never wear any political or religious accessories like lapel pins.

Probably the most important thing for the over 50 job seeker would be to catch up on the technological part of business. I’m pretty good with a computer and own a cell phone. I’ve never sent a text message, but I guess I could do that too, it looks simple enough. If you aren’t proficient in these skills and others, get that way ASAP. A good appearance AND up to date knowledge will go a long way in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Hopefully, this is all academic and I will be able to continue in my tee shirt and shorts existence for a while longer. But, if worse comes to worse, I have my strategy for returning to the workplace. And, if I do return, I hope I won’t be required to use a Bluetooth. Those of you who know me know what I think of those!

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