Redundancy when you’re Mid-Life+
First of all, you can survive redundancy, whatever your age. It can be a disempowering and stressful experience – so much of our personal identity and self-esteem is underpinned by our career – but it’s crucial to remember, it’s not a reflection on your ability. It’s your job that is being made redundant, not you.
Allow yourself to grieve for a bit, try and resist the urge to ask former colleagues how things are going and remember that posts on social media (including LinkedIn) only show one aspect of someone’s life, and a very polished and carefully curated aspect at that!
Confidence in yourself is crucial. With age comes experience and that is a valuable asset.
The key is to look back at your career and identify, and articulate, the strengths in your employment history. This could be something you do on your own but you may find it easier to talk to a friend, an associate or a career counsellor. We all have a tendency to downplay our abilities but this is not the time to do it!
Find your Value
Break down your previous jobs; what do you do, what skills did you use to perform your role effectively?
Don’t take what you do for granted – you don’t just “do your job”, you actually use skills to perform your role well and a lot of these skills can be transferable skills that can be used for other role types and industries.
Think about other skills you have employed elsewhere (for example working on specific projects outside your job role or activities or volunteering you undertake outside employment).
Use picture aids if you are struggling – mind maps can be particularly useful at breaking down what you do in your role and helping you visualise your skills set.
Identify specific examples of where you have used those skills successfully!
Ask for feedback from others who know you.
Think about what you know – this could be about technical knowledge or a product or service.
Tackling Age Barriers
We are all agreed that age shouldn’t be a barrier to employment. But sadly, we all know it can be. Prospective employers may have concerns that Mid-Life+ workers are overqualified, too old to learn new things, not able to adapt, or would resent being managed by younger colleagues.
Those of us who are Mid-Life+ know these concerns bear little relation to who we are but these stereotypes could well be in a recruiter’s mind and your CV gives you the chance to address them proactively.
We have put together our top ten tips for your Mid-Life+ CV. Each piece of the jigsaw has a nugget of information to get you started.
Once you have identified the value in your experience, and put together a winning CV, you can tweak and match that to job applications and really convey what you are bringing to the table.
And knowing your worth will help you through what can sometimes be a bruising interview process. It’s important to bear in mind that a rejection may simply mean that, whilst you were suitable for the post, someone else fitted the criteria in a better way.
We’ve got more Mid-Life+ advice in our Resources section, from how to put together an excellent LinkedIn profile to keeping positive when the job search process is proving to be tough.
And if you are looking for more personalised help, check out our 1-2-1 redundancy support service with HR professional and seasoned recruiter, Jeanette Rouse. During her 25+ years in the HR industry, Jeanette has run many successful career coaching and outplacement programmes with exceptional feedback from participants.