Over 50 Job Hunter: Women’s Equality Day.
I won’t get into the irony of President Trump proclaiming today as National Women’s Equality Day. This is not a political blog, however I would like to point out that August 26th is also traditionally known as National Dog Day…
“National Women’s Equality Day” seems like a good day to point out the inequality woman face looking for a job after age 50. If you, like me, are faced with a layoff and looking for a job then we have our work cut out for us. The New York Times reports in “Over 50, Female and Jobless Even as Other Return to Work” by Patricia Cohen, that even as the economy improves, women laid off are still not finding jobs.
There are no simple answers.
Older women, even though more qualified than men of the same age, are less likely to be
re-employed, and more likely to just stop looking for work all together. The “why” of the problem is difficult say for sure. Experts seem to feel that women, especially those that took time off to have children or care for them, are perceived as a company liability. This is true even though those same women are qualified and no longer have children at home.
Women are also frequently in much worse financial shape after a layoff simply because of pay inequality. Women have typically worked for less money and have less saved income for retirement. Their smaller pay scale also results in smaller Social Security and pension benefits. After a layoff they run through their savings much faster.
Working the system.
If you are a woman searching for a job, it’s going to be an uphill battle. If we find a job it is going to be for much less money, and we face not only the age bias but the gender bias as well. I personally believe, based on my own experience, that women who have not found a job after three years, may not be working the system correctly.
Women think differently from men.
Working women think differently than men. We work hard, we do a good job, and we take advancement as it comes. Men on the other hand are seen as having a stronger desire to succeed because they are generally more aggressive towards their goals. I am not saying women are less ambitious, I am saying we go about it differently. This can work against us in the interviewing process if not careful.
Women, recently laid off like me, may not understand the changes that have taken place in the job market; especially in the last 4 years. This blog is an attempt to even the playing field.
Job hunting is hard work!
Looking for a job is hard work. If you are actively looking, then you are working for yourself full time. If you read this blog on how to create your resume, then you already know the work you have ahead of you. If you are a woman, it is especially important that you follow advice regarding removing years from your resume. Understand that you may have to start over in business, or you may want to consider starting your own business.
On National Women’s Equality day, I want to point out that it’s important you to fight for want you want. If you are a working woman over the age of 50 then you already know the odds are against you. You must fight a little harder for what you want. When you go in for an interview, that may mean that you change the way you approach it.
- Agressively show you are interested in the job when you get an interview without being “bossy”.
- Use power words in your resume and interview commonly associated with men: assertive, independent, agressive and analytical.
- Sell yourself. You cannot shy away from this.
- Connect personally with the person interviewing you. Make small talk but don’t get too personal with the interviewer. They want to see how you get along with people.
- Before you go into an interview, in fact before you “apply” for a job, research that company. Be prepared to show you know the company and you know why you want to work there.