Before you can get hired, you must believe that you would be a great asset to any organization and that an employer would be well-served by you. Yet that's often easier said than done for older workers, many of whom face a range of fears about their employability. Let's address three common concerns:
1) "I'm old and I'm positive nobody will hire me because of age bias."
That's right, age bias—the gray ceiling—definitely exists, along with plenty of other biases in our society. Some people will not hire you because of it, which is an unfortunate reality. Don't succumb to it or throw in the towel. You don't need every employer to want you; you need only one to say yes -- and surely one is out there that recognizes your age and experience as an asset.
2) "Everyone says I'm over-qualified for the positions I'm seeking."
When you hear those words, don't hang up the phone or walk away. You have an immediate, confident response, which is, "I believe I'm well-qualified and I'd welcome the opportunity to address your specific concerns about my ability to excel in this role."
3) "My computer skills are OK, but not great."
That's definitely a legitimate issue if you expect to work from home or in an office where computer use is a major part of your job. But keep in mind, it's by no means limited to someone who's 60 or 70. I'm 37 and my computer skills probably wouldn't measure up to a hot shot who's 10 years younger, so all of us have to think about this. Don't assume it'll fix itself or that an employer will overlook it; tackle it head on by taking a refresher course at a community college, a vocational training center or even online. Not only does it look good that you've got current skills, but employers appreciate people who are lifelong learners. Instead of focusing on the negative—"My skills aren't great"—turn that thinking into a positive—"I'm a quick study and I'm always willing to learn."
Once you're confident in yourself and you're armed with the language to tackle some of the challenging questions, there are several places you can look for opportunities.
For more resources on working from home -- and advice on how to find legitimate opportunities visit WomenForHire.com.
1. Caregiving Services
Organizations are working overtime to recruit 50+ workers because they excel as personal and home care aides. It's become the second-fastest growing occupation, focused on nonmedical care: companionship, errands, accompanying to doctor's appointments, preparing meals, especially when a family member isn't available to do these things. There are national companies that do the hiring, such as Home Instead, Senior Helpers and Comfort Keepers.
2. Pet Sitting
Maybe you don't want to take care of people, but you'd be more than happy to tend to their pets. Fetch! is one national pet-sitting and dog walking service that lets you set your own hours and choose your assignments, and they're looking to add 2,500 sitters across the country before the end of the year. You can also check with your local pet-sitting services, which exist in growing numbers, for opportunities.
3. Temporary Staffing
Finance, accounting, administrative support and legal are some of the areas where temporary help is needed right now among experienced professionals, which is good news for seniors. These roles are filled through national staffing firms like OfficeTeam, RobertHalf, Manpower and Kelly.