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Companies Begin to See Value in Older Workers

They’re putting a contract out on you

Believe it or not, but it just may be a good time to be an older worker. Think about it. If this was 30 or 40 years ago and you were 50+ years old, your chances of landing meaningful work were pretty slim.

Today’s economy may be an asset. Companies on every street corner seem to be hiring. We saw a recent headline that said that there are 1½ million more job openings than there are people unemployed. As with most statistics, you should take that claim with a grain of salt. But that doesn’t mean that companies are hiring. They are.

A Job Seekers’ Silver Lining

Perhaps the biggest thing going for today’s older job seeker is that there are so many options available. You can work for a large company; a small company; a start up; a non-profit. You can go the temp-to-perm route. You can become a consultant and/or start your own business. You can own a franchise. The possibilities are many.

One possibility that some observers are seeing more and more is a way for older job seekers to use their skills, get paid, and demonstrate their value. Even among companies that, for whatever reason, are reluctant to hire older applicants, there seems to be an openness to hire older individuals for contract or project work. They may not be interested in you as a full-time employee, but they’re very interested in you to complete a project, or to fill a specific, short-term need.

Whatever the reason, it’s an opportunity for the older worker to do work, get paid and maybe even to develop some new skills. And you’re in the game. Maybe you’re not a first teamer, but you’re on the team, dressed and ready to participate.

Who knows? An opportunity such as this could be your first client as you start your own business or consultancy. And unlike volunteer work (which, make no mistake, has a strong set of strong points), for these projects, you’re getting paid.

And, let’s face it, it’s always nice to get paid for your efforts.


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