Back to work guide for the over fifties

Making the Move Back into Work

Getting back into the work space after a break away can often feel like a daunting task. At Jobs50+ we understand that you’ll have lots of questions.

  • How has the job / workplace changed since I was last working?
  • Do I still have the relevant skills and experience?
  • Will employers favourably consider my CV?
  • Will I face age discrimination?
  • What job could I do?
  • Where do I search for jobs?
  • How many hours / days do I want to work?
  • Who will be my referees?
  • Could I work from home?

And many more besides, we’re sure!

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Here’s a guide to getting you prepared, back in the know and confident:

Know your onions!

You probably kept more up to date with industry developments when you were in a work environment, so you’re likely feeling a bit rusty. Never fear, the web is awash with information which can get you back up to speed in no time. 

Sign up to industry newsletters and blogs and depending on your area of expertise, maybe get yourself on LinkedIn. And a simple Google search for the ‘latest developments or thinking in X’ will be sure to provide info and links for further information.  

Brush up on your skills – for free

There’s loads of free learning at your fingertips. Free online courses range from a few hours home study to more formal qualifications. Check out our Library of free resource! Whether you’re looking to refresh your Business, Finance, People or IT skills, we’ve got it covered. 

Following Employers in your chosen field on social media can also be a good way to stay in touch with what they’re up to. 

Research Research Research!

Don’t leave this bit out. The more time you put into researching a company or your chosen field the better. It will equip you to deal with questions and show that you’re serious about getting back into work.  

Freshen up your CV

At Jobs50+ we recommend keeping a record of the new things that you experience or learn – whether it be work or play. With very busy lives it’s all too easy to forget the great things you’ve done and could add to your CV.   

Aim to update your CV once or twice a year, more often if actively looking for work as you need it to be tailored to each role and company. Think of your CV as a work in progress, rather than the finished article. 

Spend some time going through your old CV, reacquainting yourself with your achievements. 

  • CV need a colour change?
  • Font still look modern and slick?
  • Layout still work?
  • Included your latest roles and experiences?
  • Included new achievements or skills? 
  • Can older or less relevant work experience be taken out?
  • Voluntary work included?
  • Is your career break explained?

First impressions count big time – get it right

At Jobs50+ we know that is can be scary going back into the workplace – which is why it’s best to face your fears head on! Put in the leg-work at the beginning and you will see your confidence grow.

It’s all in the detail – besides your prep around the CV, the company and the role, make sure you know the smaller, but still important things. 

  • Full location address
  • The name of the person you’re meeting 
  • Contact details of interviewer to call if running late
  • Best way to get there
  • How long it takes to get there at a particular time of day – add time to be a little early
  • Whether there’s parking and whether you need money
  • Time of the interview (arrive 5-10 mins early)
  • How long the interview will be
  • Anything you need to bring with you 
  • Any prep or presentation you made need to do
  • Dress code for interview

Don’t forget your toothbrush!

You don’t need to pack the kitchen sink for an interview, but make sure you have the basics 

  • Mobile phone to be able to call if running late
  • Copy of CV – if you need this as a prompt
  • Note pad and pen
  • Examples of work – if relevant 
  • List of questions to ask the employer

Don’t miss the boat!

The interview is your chance to get all the info you need to decide whether this job is perfect for you. It’s as much about you as it is about the interviewer. Spend some time before your meeting thinking about the info that you, and then create the question that will give you this info. Remember to make sure all your questions are relevant and specific to your role and industry. Here’s some suggestions

  • What does it feel like to work at X?
  • How big is the company?
  • What’s the team structure?
  • How long have team members worked at X?
  • What does a typical day look like?
  • What are the ambitions for the team/business?
  • How did the role come about?
  • What’s your management style/approach?
  • Are there opportunities for training and development once?

You only get one shot!

This is your chance to shine – do not miss it! This is your one opportunity to prove your worth and show-case your skills, knowledge and attitude. And for you to decide whether the job is perfect for you. Don’t apologise for your time away from work, speak positively about your time away from the workplace and draw on what you have gained and learnt.