Intel announced plans last month to cut its workforce by 12,000 people, 11 percent of its current headcount. Chances are, most of us were not alarmed at this news unless our paycheck had Intel on it because layoffs in the U.S. workforce have become a new normal.
Baby boomers — the 76.4 million people born between 1946 and 1964 in the United States — are being heavily impacted by recent layoffs. Roughly a third of the oldest boomers in United States are still working, and the overall majority continue to work due to financial need or because they possess a strong desire to work.
This may be daunting considering the oldest boomer turns 70 this year.
Meanwhile, the retirement age is increasing, due largely to baby boomers who are reluctant to retire because four out of 10 of them haven’t even started saving for retirement or have depleted their retirement since the recession in 2007.
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So, if you’re a boomer and seeking employment, here are a few tips to secure employment:
▪ Be open to mentoring because companies are recruiting millennials and Generation X to the workforce. You have years of proven experience and can make a compelling case on how to do a job. You should develop or enhance your existing coaching and mentoring skills and during a job interview talk up your willingness to be a mentor.
▪ Networking is crucial and will only increase your job success. Recently retired Patrick Scheetz, who spent over 50 years in career services, suggests, that you identify eight to 10 individuals and establish them as networking contacts. Plan to meet with them on a weekly or monthly basis.
▪ Identify and know what you have to offer and what you want. As an experienced worker, you have a lot to offer a company and will need to have the confidence to convey it.
▪ Participate in Lifelong Learning Institutes. Get back into the classroom and stay active. There are 119 such programs on university and college campuses across the country that receive grant money from the Bernard Osher Foundation. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kentucky offers more than 100 educational and enrichment courses to adults 50 years old and older. They offer courses in areas as diverse as the humanities, technology, foreign languages, studio and performing arts and wellness and fitness.
▪ Be intentional and create an action plan that will give you an advantage. Scheetz suggests drafting a list that will help clarify what resources you need to accomplish your goal. Create a timeline with a checklist. You should stay focused and consistent in your job search.
▪ Embrace technology because it is an important skill in the workplace. Stay abreast of changes in technology by taking classes at the public library and maintain an email account. Also, create a Facebook account and have an active LinkedIn profile. Don’t be afraid of technology. Take a class and be willing to learn.
▪ Accept part-time employment. America has more and more retired baby boomers who are returning to the work force for part-time work from 20 to 35 hours and not seeking benefits. This is a win/win for the employers that continue to seek the formula to increase profits.
An Oregon newspaper received internal documentation from Intel employees that indicated that Intel expects more cuts will come through buyouts, an early retirement program, site closures and elimination of certain programs. So, while boomers should plan for retirement, they should also develop a contingency plan if they should find themselves in this type of situation.
Remember, we’re in a new economy and the climate is shifting everyday. Today, we’re talking about Intel but tomorrow it could be your company.
Older works have a lot to offer an organization. Become the best version of you.