Returning to Study as a Mature Age Student – What You Need to Know
You want to get into the workforce, but you feel like your age is holding you back. You’re not alone here. A common belief is that younger workers are better because they generally aren’t held back by their health.
However, that doesn’t mean there are no opportunities for mature age graduates or just an older person in general. As life expectancies grow longer, older workers are becoming more able to work where they could not before.
There are many age-friendly employers who see the benefits of hiring older people, such as their loyalty and their many transferrable skills. For all the older Australians out there, here’s a guide that will help you secure a job.
The Top Jobs For Mature Age Job Seekers
Many jobs in customer service are part-time, offering flexibility to people with a lot of responsibilities. Also, there are certain positions in customer service where you don’t have to stand for long periods; for example, cashiers in certain shops can sit down behind the register.
Chances are that, if you’re an older person, you have a lot of experience driving, especially around your area. If you think you’re proficient at driving, then consider getting a job with a drive sharing service, such as Uber. It’s becoming increasingly popular in recent years, so you shouldn’t have to worry about finding a job in this sector.
Some people don’t want to work for anyone, and that’s okay. You can start up a small business instead. This way, you can set your own hours and work on something that you truly enjoy. While it is a lot of work and can be risky, if you have a good business idea and you’re passionate enough, you might make it.
How to Successfully Secure a Position
If you do decide to go out there and discover what the job market has to offer, you need to do a few things before you apply for a job. For a lot of mature-aged job seekers, it may feel like you’re at a disadvantage, but there are a few benefits to being matured aged. You’re likely to have more experience over someone younger.
Even skills that weren’t learnt in a work environment can be put down in a resume if it’s relevant to the job you’re after. Make sure to sit down and have a good think about all the different life experiences and skills you’ve developed throughout your life.
If you’re not comfortable with using technology, there should be plenty of free classes at your local library or community centre that can fill any holes in your knowledge. Even blogging about your desired job area or creating a website to showcase any previous work you may have done can alleviate any concerns your employer may have about your use of technology.
And of course, using Linkedln and other networking avenues will also put you on the map if you’re looking for a specific type of career.
When you’re a mature aged worker, you might come across age discrimination from your employers and employees. If you’re in this position and you’re unsure what to do, here are some tips to follow.
Remember, you don’t have to tolerate any type of discrimination, no matter who it is. If the employer doesn’t employ you because they say that you won’t fit in with a ‘young team’, people are bullying you because of your age or forcing you to retire, here’s what you can do to combat that:
Talk to Human Resources/Manager
If you’re finding that a co-worker is harassing you, it’s best to consult human resources or your manager and explain the situation. More often than not, you will find a solution that will make you happy. Even if your issue is about forced redundancy or your hiring manager specifically, you should still start here. It can’t hurt, and who knows? They might take your thoughts into consideration, but if they don’t, you can always…
Contact the Employment Relations Authority
If you’re having no luck when it comes to age discrimination, then lodging an application with the ERA or calling 0800 20 90 20 can help you.
However, while age discrimination still exists, older New Zealand workers have managed to find jobs and keep at it for many years. Whether you become a team member at a company or start your own business, there are plenty of directions that you can take no matter how old you are.
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