Rebranding At Any Age
Lately, I have been working with older more experienced people who are looking to either re-enter the job market or transition to something less demanding. One concern that they all seem to have is using their experience without branding themselves as an “old-timer”.
The job market can be very fickle – what was heavily desired a few years ago are now outdated – what was traditionally viewed as strength can now be held against you as a weakness. For example, have 15 or 20 years of experience used to be a great things and would put you ahead of anyone else, but now anyone with multiple decades of experience could be viewed as someone who be a “know it all” and less open to change.
You’ve probably worked with someone who each and every time they have the floor the first thing out of their mouth is “I’ve been doing this for twenty years…” Happens a lot.
It’s interesting because new professionals have a problem breaking in and gaining experience while most companies rely on prior experience as a staple in the hiring process.
How do you win?
Well, first it is always a matter of fortune and opportunity. Always be prepared for any opportunity which means having your resume and cover letter updated, your LinkedIn profile fully complete, and have your narrative ready. You never know when someone may ask for your resume or contact info.
Second thing to remember is not to brand yourself as an older worker, what I mean by that is you need to make sure you are open to new things, new ideas, and change. Ditch your flip phone, learn some new tech, things look and operate differently on new technology. Be open to mentoring and reverse mentoring. Having an open mind is key to staying relevant in today’s job market.
No matter how young or old you are remember no one wants to hire anyone who feels they know everything already, can’t be taught, can’t be lead and is always trying to tell others what to do – unless it’s a CEO position and even that’s debatable. Be flexible.
Finally, I cannot stress the importance in having a positive attitude enough. Negativity is a disease and it seeps down and filters into your attitude, mindset, and your conversations. When you interview hundreds of people you can tell who has an attitude problem. And many times we like to say “I’m just being brutally honest” well honesty is great, no one is telling or asking you to lie but no one likes brutal honestly unless you are close friends and family members and even they get upset by it.
Be strategic, be political, be suffocated, be smart, be savvy, be clever, be engaging, be positive and just be nice!