May is Older Americans Month when Americans take time to show their appreciation and support for older individuals who enrich and strengthen local communities across the country.
While many of us recognize the enormous contributions of older Americans, “companies are also increasingly focusing on this segment of the American workforce and are offering older workers more flexible work options and helping them better balance work and family issues,” explains Deborah Russell, director of workforce issues for the AARP.
Goodwill offers the following tips to help older workers find employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency:
- Tailor your job search strategy to your age advantage. Make sure to highlight your skills and experience by learning résumé, cover letter and job interview strategies for older workers.
- Build your skills to stay current. If you have been out of work, Goodwill’s free online learning community offers training in job search skills, computer basics and money management to help you stay competitive in the job market.
- Make the most out of job boards. Sites like SeniorJobBank.org, Work Information Network and RetiredBrains list hundreds of job postings that are specific to older workers. You can search by location and field to find opportunities that are right for you.
- Target employers who value older workers. AARP’s National Employer Team provides a list of national companies who want to hire older workers because they understand the leadership, experience, and skills you can offer. From hospitality to health care and finance to the federal government, this group is filled with organizations that might align with your career interests.
At Goodwill, we help seniors find work, develop new skills, and build their financial security by taking advantage of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). SCSEP is an on-the-job training and employment program designed to help those aged 55 and older update their jobs skills, build work experience and confidence, and continue to have economic security and well-being.
Goodwill helps people like Julie Stewart who found a new career in data entry after suffering from back pain as a former hairdresser. “A lot of people have given up hope, feel that life is over as a senior, and are in such dire situations. It’s so hopeful for them to get into this program and for their life to change,” she says.
Goodwill currently offers SCSEP in six states but many Goodwills across the country offer services that can help older workers build skills, connect with supportive services, and find employment. To learn more about Goodwill services in your local community, contact your local Goodwill.