Tips for baby boomers want­ing change

The Washington Post Sunday - - JOBS -

I of­ten hear from baby boomers who have been laid off or are think­ing about chang­ing ca­reers or do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent with their work lives. Some feel, given their age, there may not be hope for them in to­day’s mar­ket­place. That would be a grim out­look for the 78 mil­lion boomers.

But rest as­sured, there is hope — and many re­sources — for older work­ers. This is es­pe­cially good news, as the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics, Cen­sus Bureau and oth­ers es­ti­mate more than 80 per­cent of baby boomers (who will, on av­er­age, live to be 83) plan to keep work­ing af­ter re­tire­ment to re­main ac­tive.

For baby boomers need­ing or want­ing to make a ca­reer change, there is some spe­cial­ized ad­vice and ser­vices to help them nav­i­gate into a new ca­reer field.

Fig­ure out what type of work you may be in­ter­ested in

Baby boomers may not want to do the same type of work af­ter age 50 that they did when they were younger. More than 50 per­cent of work­ing re­tirees say they want to work in a new pro­fes­sion. The Na­tional Busi­ness Ser­vices Al­liance has a job match sur­vey that com­pares a per­son’s work in­ter­ests and per­sonal char­ac­ter­is­tics to hun­dreds of job pro­files, pro­vid­ing them with a list of best-fit jobs. Af­ter users fin­ish iden­ti­fy­ing work in­ter­ests, they can iden­tify their trans­fer­able skills and see en­hanced job match re­sults.

The La­bor De­part­ment has an on­line tool to help peo­ple con­sider ca­reer op­tions re­lated to their orig­i­nal ca­reer. By en­ter­ing your cur­rent or pre­vi­ous job at the MySkills My­Fu­ture Web site, you are able to see other ca­reer fields that might give you ideas of alternative ca­reers to con­sider (which have some sim­i­lar char­ac­ter­is­tics to your pre­vi­ous job). It also en­ables you to nar­row your search based on cer­tain work-re­lated char­ac­ter­is­tics and even list lo­ca­tions by zip code.

Keep your skills cur­rent

AARP of­fers WorkSearch, an on­line skills as­sess­ment sys­tem for job seek­ers. It helps iden­tify the types of jobs you may be best suited for based on your work in­ter­ests, per­son­al­ity char­ac­ter­is­tics, and the work/life skills you al­ready have. The WorkSearch sys­tem also pro­vides skills val­i­da­tion tests based on a per­son’s as­sess­ment re­sults and numer­ous free on­line Es­sen­tial Skills cour­ses, which can be used to help to up­grade the skills needed to in­crease your qual­i­fi­ca­tions. An­other valu­able site from the La­bor De­part­ment is Ca­reer On­eStop, which pro­vides more in­for­ma­tion on train­ing pro­grams.

Use web­sites de­signed to help baby boomers

Some boomers may not have had to up­date their re­sumes or write a cover let­ter in 30 years so they might need help with this. They may not have learned how to net­work us­ing so­cial me­dia. To do all this, they should re­fer to some Web sites de­signed specif­i­cally to as­sist boomers.

mon­ has a sec­tion en­ti­tled “ca­reers at 50+”

se­nior­job­ seeks to bring to­gether em­ploy­ers with older job seek­ers. has valu­able in­for­ma­tion to help se­niors with their ca­reer plans

quint­ca­­ture_job­seek­ers.html has numer­ous re­sources for boomers and older work­ers look­ing for new jobs and ca­reer-change strate­gies and tac­tics.

se­ lists jobs and other ways of earn­ing money. You can search job list­ings, post your re­sume, reg­is­ter for e-mail job alerts, use a jobs-wanted tool and find use­ful re­sources for ma­ture work­ers.

wis­er­ is a job site de­signed to help baby boomers and older work­ers in find­ing em­ploy­ment. Job seek­ers can search job list­ings, find a col­lec­tion of ca­reer ar­ti­cles and re­sources, and list­ings of lo­cal job fairs across the coun­try.

work­ is a ca­reer re­source site for older job seek­ers that has lots of

age-re­lated ca­reer con­tent, from re­sume writ­ing to job search strate­gies. They also have a ca­reer and ed­u­ca­tion sec­tion to as­sist boomers who are con­sid­er­ing a ca­reer or job tran­si­tion.

re­tired­ has in­for­ma­tion for search­ing for a job and start­ing your own busi­ness, among other re­sources for se­niors.

re­ is a site that of­fers ar­ti­cles and re­sources to help a per­son find a new ca­reer af­ter end­ing a cur­rent ca­reer.

As many com­pa­nies know, baby boomers and se­niors have much to of­fer the work­force, whether as full-time em­ploy­ees, part-timers, con­sul­tants or in other cre­ative work ar­range­ments. Some statis­tics have shown that more than 50 per­cent of U.S. com­pa­nies are will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate spe­cial ar­range­ments for older work­ers just to keep them in the work­place. If you are one of th­ese older work­ers, take ad­van­tage of the ca­reer re­sources out there, many of which are free, to get your­self set up for your next ca­reer move.

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