Despite the fact that more and more organizations are advocating for inclusion and diversity in employability, there are still some issues that we need to work on, especially when it comes to diversity. Many people are still excluded from the labour market or feel disadvantaged when looking for a job because of their age.
While work experience and accomplishments throughout a working life have great value, people over the age of 45 struggle to find opportunities to demonstrate their abilities.
Below are explored: the concept of employability, why age continues to be a deciding factor, and what older candidates can do to remain competitive and re-enter today’s job market.
What is employability?
Employability refers to an individual’s ability to enter the workforce, enter the job market, or advance within the organization to which they belong.
This capacity to be employable is, to a certain extent, an individual responsibility. Obtaining training or developing skills are factors in each individual’s hands.
However, employability also depends on external factors such as the demand for specific skills for certain sectors or professional activities in the labor market.
Unfortunately, the existence of gender bias and discrimination based on sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, nationality or age negatively impacts people’s employability.
Why is age a factor in the job search?
Sometimes the complexity of the job or the level of experience required to perform the job leads companies to look for candidates with more specialized profiles and with certain levels of seniority, especially in middle and senior management positions. This generally means hiring people over the age of 45.
However, certain preconceived ideas about the age of candidates still persist in the collective unconscious, such as that people over 45 are not up to date or that they lack the ability to adapt.
On the other hand, the development of technology and digital transformation seems to have generated a preference for integrating younger employees, who theoretically have the potential to bring innovative ideas, align with trends and promote the digitalization of processes.
How do you maintain employability after age 45?
Losing a job is a challenge at any age, but even more so for people over 45. For this reason, here are some strategies that could help people in this age range maintain their employability or re-enter the workforce.
Maintain an active network of contacts
Networking is important in the job search. A good idea might be to create a short description of the type of job you are looking for, your experience and skills, and share it with friends, former colleagues and other relevant contacts.
Build an online presence
It’s common for recruiters to search for candidates online and look for candidates who have already applied for a job opening.
Developing a personal brand, having active and relevant profiles on social networks, and even a blog or website can help counteract the idea that professionals of a certain age are not tech-savvy.
Learn to use new tools and technologies
In addition to training yourself to use a new tool specific to the field or position you’re interested in, you should also master digital communication or project management and productivity tools like Slack, Trello, Zoom or Google Meet.
Keep track of your accomplishments
If your performance in your previous jobs generated a positive impact in your area and the organization, it is important that you have a record of those accomplishments.
Having this information will be a very useful tool to be able to demonstrate with concrete data your effectiveness and, therefore, your employability. Sound off in the comments section below and tell us your thoughts on the subject of employability and age.