Others simply refuse to retire. My mother-in-law, for example, worked for many years as an office bookkeeper. After she lost her job because she had turned 65, she became the treasurer of her shul, and volunteered several hours each day to help out in the shul office.
Age discrimination in the labor marketplace is a problem, but human resources experts now know that it is based on false assumptions and obsolete stereotypes about older workers.
According to the research done by Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, seasoned employees are consistently superior to younger workers because “every aspect of job performance gets better as we age.” Generally, seniors in the workplace are more loyal and reliable and are better at detail-oriented tasks, problem solving and organization, due to their greater life experience.
Seniors are becoming a larger proportion of the American workforce. There will be 46 million Americans over the age of 65 by 2015, and many of them will still be working. There is power in those numbers, especially when they get organized. The AARP web site contains lots of practical advice for seniors looking to find work.
One of the most important tasks is keeping their job skills and their resume current. Older workers seeking employment need to master today’s most popular computer and communications tools, including the social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), text messaging and smart phones. Those in a professional field need to keep up with developments, not just by reading the trade publications, but also by joining professional organizations and attending their events.
For a senior who does not want to retire, finding a job is a job in itself, and two of its essential requirements are patience and perseverance. Do not be discouraged by rejection. Take a temporary job doing something else if you must, but do not give up the search for the wise employer who recognizes that the skills you have acquired through your adult lifetime in the workplace are as valuable to him as they have been to you.