Written By Own Your Destiny Team: The loss of a job is never easy, but it can seem particularly harrowing for individuals in the latter stages of a career. Those older than 55 often struggle to find work on par with their previous positions. Very often they still face economic pressures like increased medical expenses, paying for their children’s college or even taking care of grandchildren. Such a situation may seem bleak, but if that’s your reality, recognize that you can recreate yourself and enjoy a rewarding career in later life.
The Immediate Aftermath of Job Loss
The first step in coping with job loss is to take some time to regroup. If your mindset isn’t right, you will struggle to find meaningful work in the future.
Instead of seeing your job loss as the end of the line, consider it an opportunity to pursue something new – maybe even something related to an interest or passion you’ve put aside for years. With the hope of a new venture in mind, focus on personal financial literacy. Take time to evaluate your current cash flow and adjust your expenses to accommodate the sudden loss of income.
You may need to get a new job in the next three months or in the next year. If the prospect of servicing your debt seems overwhelming, consider debt counseling. When you understand your financial standing, you can take steps to remain solvent.
Recreating Yourself for Career Success After 50
A job loss is not necessarily a comment on your capabilities, your work ethic, or your commitment. Tackle the next stage of your career with confidence and diligence. The job search process has changed dramatically in the past decade, but networking remains as crucial as ever. Evaluate your skills and preferences from your previous job. Volunteer, connect with contacts, and stay busy. You don’t want to lose momentum during this transition, because the longer you remain unemployed the harder it can be to return to the workforce.
Prepare yourself for every encounter with prospective employers and recruiters, and don’t be afraid of taking on a job that seems below your prior capabilities. Employment of any kind is better than long-term unemployment.
Consider taking a course online or at a local college to brush up on your technology skills. Understand how your expertise and experience differ from someone 10 or 20 years your junior. Businesses are ultimately interested in value-driven employees. If you can demonstrate value, you will find work after 50.
Long-Term Planning and Preparedness
The more financially literate you are, the better you can prepare for the unexpected. Take steps today to save for at least six months’ worth of unemployment, and develop a plan for the worst-case scenario. Avoid using retirement accounts as long as possible, and constantly search for new career pathways. In today’s world, long-term employment is never certain.
Whether you’re managing the risk of a job loss or facing the aftermath of one, consider working with a money coach who can help you navigate the complexities of financial management in later life.