One of the biggest errors older job candidates make is believing that little has changed in the job seeking process. It has. However, some older job searchers sometimes exaggerate how much the hiring process has changed. Despite video interviews and applicant tracking systems, the fact is that hiring decisions are still made by humans.
It’s crucial to have a professional plan, even if you’re only recently approaching 50. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of January 2016, the average job tenure for Americans was 4.2 years. This is up from 3.7 years in 2002 and 3.5 years in 1983, but it is down from 4.6 years in January 2014. In fact, workers aged 55 to 64 have an average tenure of 10.1 years, which is more than three times longer than those aged 25 to 34. (2.8 years). All of this indicates that it’s probable your current position won’t be your last.
More than 25 percent of American workers will be 55 or older by 2022. With phrases like “second act,” “third act,” and “encore careers” being used to characterize professional shifts later in your job, and as you approach — or enter — retirement, the baby boomer generation is already having an impact on mid-life and pre-retirement work.
Baby boomers are driving the need or desire to work past “traditional” retirement years. Boomers are the generation born in the wake of the post-World war two baby boom (approximately 1946 to 1964). Currently, most baby boomers are between the ages of 50 and 70. Boomers have remained in the labor longer than their parents due to growing financial obligations, including paying for their children’s student loans, making contributions to their children’s average $26,000 weddings, and having less retirement assets. 45 percent of baby boomers claim to have no retirement savings at all, according to a report by the Insured Retirement Institute.
Baby boomers are still employed, yet they nevertheless face certain long-standing difficulties. Losing your job is among the most serious problems.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, finding a job often takes more time for those over 55 than for those who are younger. For individuals aged 55 to 64, it takes an average of 37 weeks (9 months), compared to 25 weeks (6 months) for those aged 25 to 34.
People over the age of 50 are very concerned about long-term unemployment. Older job seekers typically have greater fixed costs, such as home mortgages, health insurance, and auto payments, making it impossible for them to go unemployed for an extended period of time without suffering serious short- and long-term financial consequences. The hiring of older candidates raises concerns.
Age discrimination in the workplace, including throughout the recruiting process, is illegal in theory. People 40 years of age and above are shielded from age-based job discrimination by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. The regulation, however, only applies to businesses and organizations with 20 employees or more. Additionally, it is not against the law for an employer to inquire about a job applicant’s age or birthdate, albeit such queries are “closely vetted to ensure that the query was conducted for a permissible purpose.”
Many times, employers can estimate a job applicant’s age without requesting their age or date of birth. Dates of college graduation and length of job are often indicators of age
The Civil Rights Act of 1964’s Title VII, which forbids employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, served as the inspiration for the ADEA. There are age discrimination laws specific to each state as well, some of which provide greater protection than the federal law.
But the fact remains: It can be very challenging to demonstrate age discrimination, particularly when it comes to recruiting. Therefore, those looking for work over the age of 50 must take every possible step to increase their prospects of finding meaningful employment during what may be their most productive years of employment. They may well be among the ones during which you make the most money.
According to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York research, male income peaks in their early to mid-50s and falls in the decade before retirement. Similar findings were published by Payscale: women’s pay increase averagely ceased at age 39 while men’s pay growth peaked at age 48.
When you’re not ready to retire and certain obstacles faced by job seekers in their 50s will be covered next time.