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The Benefits of Age and Experience

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I still remember the 1984 debate between President Ronald Reagan and former Vice President Walter Mondale when President Reagan started the debate with a bit of humor:  “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” I laughed and so did everyone else watching the debate. Beyond being funny, it rings so true for baby boomers looking for jobs. If you’re older than the average job candidate, here are the Top 10 reasons an employer would find you a desirable hire:
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  1. You aren’t a job hopper. You carry the loyalty gene we all seemed to inherit from the generation before us. That translates into less of a risk of an employer investing in training you and then having you leave. Turnover is a big issue for companies.
  2. You are past the stage of sick kids, school events, maternity and paternity leave. So, you won’t need to miss work as much as your younger colleagues. You also understand the need to be on time vs. late to the job.
  3. You know what it means to be a team player and can work across generations.
  4. You understand the need for excellent customer service and know how to deliver it daily. Years of being on the receiving end of bad customer service has taught you a few lessons.
  5. You have skills, knowledge, and experience that are valuable to employers like budgeting and planning, time management, organizational, negotiation, and communication skills.
  6. You are honest and trustworthy and have people who can vouch for that.
  7. You are a great mentor and understand the importance in building relationships. You have a “we” attitude and a strong sense of achievement.
  8. You are an agile and lifelong learner. This is especially relevant when you need to learn new systems and processes. Going through another training program is a welcome challenge to you.
  9. You have confidence…with experience comes confidence. Use that confidence during your interview. Leave the jitters to the more youthful!
  10. You don’t just react to situations. You bring perspectives and can think through complex issues and solve them.

On the flip side, you must be prepared to compete with younger candidates by exhibiting a positive outlook, projecting an image of good health, and being proficient in the latest technologies.

Companies are beginning to see the value of hiring baby boomers. They also don’t have a lot of choices with the predicted upcoming labor shortage. The Urban Institute predicts workers aged 50+ will account for 35 percent of the labor force by 2019. And, it will continue to grow.

So, if you are 50+, use the Top 10 List to your Advantage when moving onto an encore career.

We hope this is helpful to you! Katie Weiser, Career Coach at

Need help with your career? Certified Career Coach Hallie Crawford is a career coach that specializes in helping professionals identify their ideal career path, navigate their transition and nurture their career. To schedule a complimentary consultation and find out more about Hallie visit


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