This post originally appeared on MainStreet.
Any job-seeker of a “certain age,” as the saying goes, knows how difficult it is to land a quality job, especially after being laid off and lacking current job experience to leverage when seeking a new position.
According to The Wall Street Journal, about 3.5 million U.S. adults between 45 and 64 were out of work through mid-2012, with 39% of those numbers unemployed for a year or longer. While the unemployed rate for middle-age workers is about half of their 20-something counterparts, it’s much harder for a 50-year-old to land a good-paying job with benefits than a younger, cheaper and – fair or unfair – potentially more energetic 25-year-old.
Sure, experience counts for a great deal with hiring managers, and experience for middle-aged workers is a great card to play when talking to a potential employer about a new job.
But there are other cards up the sleeves of the 45-64 set that are either are ignored, forgotten or unrealized. And not playing them can really cost an older worker in a highly competitive job market.
So says Harris Allied, a New York City-based executive recruiting firm. Managing Director Kathy Harris has some definite ideas on how older workers can use their experience and savvy to land a great job, and it all starts with managing expectations.
“These job-seekers need to be ready to compromise on their salary requirements as well as the industry they want to work in. And they should consider both consulting arrangements and full-time employment,” Harris says.