Looking for your next career move? AARP can help!
In 2009, one of the most rewarding jobs that I ever held was eliminated. I had survived so many corporate restructurings and felt guilty when close colleagues lost their jobs. So, I felt that it was my turn. But the timing was terrible: My career was disrupted in one of the worst economic times since the Great Depression.
During this time, I was a few months from turning 50, and age discrimination did cross my mind. I quickly eliminated any negative thoughts and reminded myself that I have skills and valuable experiences for today’s workplace.
Fast forward, I did survive but not without a lot of pain, self-reflection and openness to learning the new dynamics of today’s job search. The reality was, I was looking for the ideal job that matched my skills and experience in a terrible economy. The question I had to ask myself was, “Where do I begin my search for a job in a market that has moved into the Digital Age?”
Well, I’m happy to report that I landed at AARP and survived moving my family to Northern Virginia. If you are like me, looking to land that next great gig, AARP has resources to make your career transition easier.
Just check out www.aarp.org/work, where you’ll find ways to stay happy where you are now, tips to start your search for the next step in your career or even starting your own business. If you’re like I used to be, and worry about your age, there are articles about working at 50-plus.
You will also have access to nearly 300 employers from the AARP Employer Pledge Program, such as UnitedHealth Group, American Red Cross and KPMG LLP, who value what experienced workers bring to the workplace and recruit from across diverse age groups. You can read more about the AARP Employer Pledge Program at www.aarp.org/work/job-search/employer-pledge-companies.
We all know that the task of searching for a job has changed in recent years. Looking for a job now is more than just submitting your résumé and waiting for a call back.
Applying for a job must be coupled with networking, which increases your chances of landing that next great gig.
Using your social networks is key to your job search.
Not only should you tell your friends, but also tell friends of friends that you are seeking employment. Now is the time to sharpen your job-searching skills.
AARP can help with that, too. The AARP Technology Education Center has a host of short skill-building videos and webinars to help you learn how to brand and promote yourself and how to use social media in your job search.
You can explore AARP’s TEK (Technology, Education, Knowledge) information at www.aarp.org/tek.
If you feel overwhelmed by today’s gadgets, AARP TEK also has a host of refresher courses on how to use technology to stay organized, manage projects, manage change and communicate better. In addition, there are several Microsoft Office refresher courses available. And let’s face it, everyone uses Microsoft Office, right?
Recently, I was having lunch with a friend, and we were sharing notes about the days of Lotus 123, and how neither of us use Uber and would rather pay more for a taxi. You can refuse to keep up with the times or choose to evolve.
Just don’t be too resistant to some change now and then, because you don’t want to be left behind when everyone around you has moved on. Looking for work in the modern world requires modern thinking.
Perhaps you’re looking to shift careers, and you’re not sure of what that might be. Whether you are looking for a job, changing careers or managing unemployment, AARP can help you along the way. Happy job hunting!
Ron Mori is a board member for the Washington, D.C., JACL chapter and manager of community, states and national affairs — multicultural leadership for AARP.