As a non-traditional student and an older job seeker, I know things are different for me than for my younger counterparts. I mean no disrespect to the next generation of up-and-coming journalism, advertising and PR superstars, but experience does pay off. A "seasoned" pro can often accomplish in 20 hours what a younger colleague would need a week to do.
Then there's telecommuting. More people are working from home! With a laptop and a PDA, you can be in business. It doesn't matter where you work, it just matters that the work gets done. Many non-traditionals also bring with them a lifetime of contacts, and they've dealt with every imaginable circumstance and work-related crisis. You can rely on your own strength and experience, and so can employers. Few traditional grads can say the same.
The key for the non-traditional or older student is to make make sure you are totally and absolutely connected and committed to new media, along with the traditional. It's a brave new business world out there compared to 20 (or even 10) years ago. You need to understand the tools and computer programs being used by today's corporations, and you need to be fluent in what I call, New Media-speak. Be familiar with terms like tweeting and wiki, and familiarize yourself with Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and Google. The archive for this blog contains many articles which can help bring you up-to-speed, esepcially if you've been away from the workforce for awhile or are entering it for the first time later in life. I hope you'll check it out.
Don't tell yourself no one is hiring
The number one mistake the over-40 set makes is complaining that companies are not hiring them. Yes, a few older candidates may have to work harder to overcome discrimination. No, it's not fair. But it doesn't mean that every employer is hell-bent on avoiding workers over 35.
The website RetirementJobs.com lists more than 30,000 full and part-time jobs available nationwide with "age-friendly employers." Other sites that cater to older workers include: Jobs 4.0, Retired Brains, Seniors4Hire and Workforce50.com. In addition, AARP offers an annual list of the best employers for workers over 50.
Many companies are open to hiring older workers. Follow this link below to a more in-depth article on how older graduates can sell themselves.
LinkedIn Tip of the Day
Using the Search Function on your LinkedIn home page (check the upper right of the page), you can “search” People, Jobs, Companies, Answers, Inbox and Groups. If you move to the right of the search box and click on “Advanced,” you can also search on keywords, name, company (current and past), geographic location, industry, job title (current and past), school, groups, language, by the interests of those being searched, when they joined LinkedIn, those in or out of your network, and by relevance – or any combination of the above.
Find companies you want to work for or do business with and the people you need to meet at those companies by using LinkedIn search tools. With over 50,000,000 business professionals registered there, your search could pay big dividends.