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50-Plus Workers Are Helping Business Boom

Oct 13, 2007
Boomers bring experience and energy to hourly and part-time jobs

You go by many names: seniors, boomers and even the 50-plus crowd. But no matter what name you prefer to go by, one thing is certain - today's savvy workplace vets are sticking around the water cooler a little longer, and if you've already retired, you're often jumping back into the job market and saddling up once again.

Thanks to modern medicine and inspiration from the likes of Jane Fonda and the "Godfather of Fitness," Jack LaLanne, today's 50+ population is healthier, hipper and making more money than ever before. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of Americans 55 years and older will be working by 2015. In 2000 that figure was just 13 percent. And almost 70 percent of workers who have not yet retired recently told AARP that they plan to work well into the traditional retirement years - or they don't plan on ever retiring!

Some 50-plusers need to work to pay the bills. Many look for senior jobs for a little extra cash to fuel their leisure pursuits, while others simply want a productive outlet for their spare time.

So if you're over 50 and looking to grab an hourly job, you've come to the right place. Here are a few tips for a successful 50-plus job search:

Update your job profile

Re-entering the job market as a 50-pluser is a great opportunity to express your strengths when applying for a job. For example, age translates to experience and maturity. While it may take some training to catch up on a few technological gaps if you've been absent from the marketplace for a while, other skills never need to be dusted off. Emphasize attributes such as communication skills, accountability and trustworthiness. In other words, don't sell yourself short when going back out on the job trail.

Target your comfort zone

Before you sign on for a 40-hour work week, ask yourself a few questions: Will taking on fewer hours - and balancing hobbies and a part-time job - lead to a more fulfilling life? (If you can afford to, of course.) Can you accept receiving a paycheck that may be substantially less than what you made in your most recent career? And what about the work environment itself - if the employees are mainly teens and 20-somethings, are you OK with that? There is no right or wrong answers to these questions; you just need to be sure you're re-entering the workforce carefully and comfortably, and are aware of all the possibilities that may greet you in your new work environment.

Have a little patience

We're actually stealing this bit of job search advice from SnagAJob.com job seeker Cindy F. from Colorado. But rather than blabber on and on, we'll let you hear it straight from her:

"I'd been looking for work for over six months and was getting desperate. I received an alert from SnagAJob.com directing me to apply online for a Home Depot sales associate position and, after an interview last week, I just got the word that I'm hired. I got a position at the Home Depot in Littleton, Co., just a 15-minute drive from my home. I requested a position in the gardening department and that's where I'll be working. It's very difficult to be 56 and looking for work after my career had been eliminated by computers, and your website has been very helpful with job leads when I had given up all hope. Thanks again!"

If you're a working boomer who has sound advice for finding and excelling on the job, please visit us at: http://www.snagajob.com like Cindy did. We'd love to hear from you!
About the Author
Mike Ward is the Senior Online Editor for SnagAJob.com, America's largest hourly job website. SnagAJob.com features more than 100,000 active job postings in industries and can be found at: http://www.snagajob.com
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