Gray Power: Older workers have valuable life experience

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fiction: Some employers feel that older adults who do not have a job and who are still in the job market have few marketable skills and little relevant experience. They believe that these job seekers may have lost their job for a reason, or that they lack the necessary qualifications for today&8217;s jobs.

Reality: Retirees have more life experience than their younger counterparts.

Since experience is one of the best teachers, older job seekers are often those with a bounty of experience, judgment and wisdom.

Older adults possess a treasure trove of experience to bring to the workplace.

In today&8217;s economy, those older adults in search of a job are often those who opted for an &8220;early-out&8221; program, who got caught in the rightsizing, restructuring or who were not well-suited for their last job. In some cases, older job seekers are merely looking for a way to better their career.

In any event, there are a host of individuals with outstanding qualifications that would offer many employers a valuable solution to their staffing dilemmas.

There are strategies for those seeking employment. They include:

-Discuss with prospective employers the reasons for your job hunt.

-Describe the circumstances of your searching for a job.

-Highlight your strengths, both on the resume and in the interview.

-Talk about your achievements and about how your life experiences can benefit the employer.

Here are some strategies that may help you keep your job.

-Offer examples of the way your wealth of life experience can benefit your employer on the job.

This information came from the book, UnRetirement by Fyock and Dorton.

Dr. Marvin Copes, located in Maylene, is an Education and Community Service Volunteer for AARP Alabama. He can be reached by e-mail at