Thursday October 27, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Older workers getting back into the workforce after retirement or raising a family — or dealing with job loss and seeking new options — is not a new trend. But it’s increasingly the case as economic realities set in for seniors across the country.
Nowadays the term mature workers is also used, but young people can be mature in many ways too!
Today at the WorkBC Westshore/Langford office a quick free workshop addresses about 10 people on the basic aspects of seeking employment in today’s job market. Both men and women attended, evidently with a range of work and life experience backgrounds.
The Mature Workers info session lasted less than an hour, held in a second floor boardroom in the building at 3179 Jacklin Road. It was led by a relatively new facilitator (herself an older person finding a new career path). A recording will be posted online by WorkBC Westshore/Langford.
Tips for the job search:
The facilitator covered a range of basic points like inter-generational workplaces, resume preparation, information interviews ahead of a job interview, assessing where you’re at with technological and social media skills, and the importance of networking.
She proposed that transferable skills are mostly the ‘soft skills’ (communication and social skills) but that’s not necessarily the case in particular trades or technology-dependent sectors.
Evidently the current standard for including references on your resume is to not — they should now be provided on a separate page. That also helps with producing new resumes. The recommendation today was to have a basic core resume and then customize it for each new position that a person applies for.
When in a job interview remember to outline how as a future employee you would benefit the employer.
Always have an ‘elevator speech’ or branding statement of four to five sentences long ready for recounting to people at any time. Who you are and what skills you have.
No set retirement age:
Generally speaking, there is no set retirement age in Canada. People can continue working past age 65 (which has been previously considered the ‘standard’ retirement age).
People over 65 are continuing to work out of financial necessity, to remain active, or to continue supporting children or grandchildren. The federal government pays more Old Age Security to people age 75+, with the assumption being that people age 65 to 74 are in many cases still working.
Older worker skill sets:
Older workers are now being recognized for the maturity they offer the workplace; that might translate as reliability, punctuality, or understanding why certain tasks must be done. If they have already have worked in a particular industry or specific business, older workers carry ‘corporate knowledge’ that can be useful in more challenging times of a business or project.
In addition to loyalty and stability, older workers usually offer a desirable range of decision-making skills, management skills, leadership skills, and communication skills. They usually have confidence, can exercise empathy, and take a collaborative approach. They may bring the benefit of established networks, and provide opportunities for being a mentor.
Training in things like Food Safe and First Aid can be done through WorkBC, which might be an incentive to employers that then won’t have to provide that training for a new employee.
===== ABOUT THE WRITER:
Mary P Brooke has been a self-employed west shore journalist, editor and publisher since 2008. Her business started the series of publications that has become Island Social Trends back in 2008 with MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), then producing a weekly print newspaper Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), which she then expanded to be the colour weekly print/PDF newspaper West Shore Voice News.
Island Social Trends emerged in mid-2020 when it was clear that active news is sought by most readers online. The news portal is searchable by category, topic and word or phrase.
Mary P Brooke was recently an SD62 school trustee candidate in the west shore, engaging with residents and voters in the Langford, Colwood, Metchosin and Highlands voting area. Through Island Social Trends she continues to cover news of the west shore including education, business and the economy.