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What are you Afraid of?

The only thing we have to fear is…

➔ Looking for a job past the age of 50 can be a scary proposition. But it doesn’t have to be. But it will if – and only if – you let it.

But, really, what is there to be afraid of? Are you afraid that you’ll never find another job? That’s not likely if you’re diligent at all you’ll find something. It may not be your ideal, but you will find something.

Are you afraid that you won’t make as much money as you used to? That’s a genuine concern. In fact, recent data shows that you probably won’t make as much as you did before. Will you be forced to do some belt tightening? Possibly. But you will survive.

Is there anything else about which to be afraid?

Everything we mentioned so far has to do with your personal life. And there are some valid concerns. But what about your actual job search? What is there to fear?

There are two major fears about which the over-50 job seeker needs to be concerned. First, there is the fear of failure. And, second, is the fear of being guilty of the imposter syndrome. If you’re not familiar with the term, defines it as “an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be.” As in, “What if they find that I actually have never done (or can’t) a certain task?”

While these are real concerns, they will exist in your mind only if you permit them. Losing your job past the age of 50 is not a failure on your part. Your separation is more likely the result of economic considerations, a change in strategy, or personnel restructuring. In other words, it’s probably not your fault. As such, that is no indication of failure.

Not having found a job yet is not a sign of failure. If you’re diligent and aggressive, it’s just a matter of time until you land somewhere.

As for the imposter syndrome, if you truly fall into that trap, mostly you’ll find yourself there as a result of not being completely honest – with yourself and/or your prospective employer. And that is something to be fearful of.

Someone once said that all stress is self-imposed. That’s probably true. And the same could be said of these fears.


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