Maybe you're a new resident, looking around the Sierra foothills in deep-breathing wonder, or maybe you've been here for a long time. If you're older than 55 years and looking for work, the joy of living in the country may be tempered by another wonder -- wondering if you will ever work again.
We know competent, educated and experienced women and men older than 55 who have looked for work for more than a year. Age discrimination it seems, has become a quiet undercurrent in our working society. And it is terribly misplaced.
In our current economic climate, more people than ever are out of work and among them are older candidates who need and want to continue working. Savings and investments have been depleted, family support requirements are more important than ever and many older candidates are not willing or ready to give up the joy of working and contributing.
So how can you overcome negative stereotypes that you may face in the employment market because of your age?
First, what sets an older worker apart, what makes them a valuable employee? If you've been working for 20, 30 or 40 years you probably have at least two things that are very important to a potential employer: experience and a well-honed work ethic. Did we say experience? There is a deep pool of knowledge gained by men and women who rise in the morning and show up for work, every business day, for decades.
A résumé is a personal advertisement designed to get you past that first hurdle in the hiring process and schedule an interview. Use it to tell potential employers about your experience and work ethic. Limit your work history to the past 10 years. And like all resumes, concentrate on what you will do for an employer -- don't waste space talking about what you have done and keep it to one page.
Volunteer for community projects:
Get out in the public and volunteer for organizations and public projects. Foothill communities are small and many people know one another. Tell everyone you are looking for work. Keep telling them.
Make sure you are current with basic technology. Contact your local job workforce office and sign up for classes or seminars on computing and the Internet. And ask about a refresher course on interview skills. You only need a few minutes to impress a potential employer with your experience. Learn how to make those minutes count.
And, contact a temp agency and accept any work you can find. By getting involved and staying engaged, you will open the right doors.