The latest employment figures show the over 50 s as having the largest rise in long term unemployment, and many of those finding work accepting part-time roles.
Many of us in our 50s have found ourselves in situations we could never have imagined a decade ago – underemployed or unemployed.
With no sign of the economy improving in the short term how does this impact anyone in this situation? Are there any solutions?
What do you do if your income from your part-time employment falls far short of meeting your requirements?
Personally I cannot stress enough the need to remember that anyone currently in their 50s is far from at the end of their working life. Even if accepting part-time employment now, look at the long term picture too.
What can we do if we have to accept part-time work?
- Can you use any additional skills gained in part-time work to make you more employable in a full-time role?
- Could having one part-time role help form the basis of ‘portfolio’ working, adding other part-time work into the mix or setting up a business alongside?
- Can you attend courses/ training alongside your work to plug any skills gap which may be the barrier to gaining full-time employment. To remain employable you need to keep your skillbase current.
- Does your cv which you are submitting for full time employment accurately reflect your marketable skills in today ‘s workplace? Tailor each cv to individual job openings where necessary. I have met people who have literally sent out hundreds of CVs, none of which clearly stated what they could offer each potential employer. Disheartening for them to face constant rejection, especially if a more focussed cv could have made a difference!
- What if it is your partner who is underemployed? The same principles apply.
- Ask at your local jobcentre if there are any jobcoaching programmes or courses you might be eligible for.
- Network, network, network! Network informally with friends, family and former colleagues, online via linkedin, facebook and twitter, and attend networking events. Some networking groups such as Business Biscotti are free to join and only charge a few pounds to cover the cost of tea and coffee to attend the events.
- If you are looking to set up your own business, look to see if events or mentoring programmes offered by PRIME – a charity set up by Prince Charles specifically to support the over 50s looking to set up businesses.
- Stay positive – women over 50 do make great employees!
If you have found yourself in this position, please share your thoughts and experience – so we can all learn and support each other!
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