With national unemployment poised to burst through the 10% level for October, it’s not surprising that thousands of execs over the age of 50 are tumbling into the job market.
Downsizing in virtually every major industry has spared no one – and no level.
In fact, with the rate of corporate saving so much higher when eliminating executive positions (high salary and, usually, fat benefits) veteran execs have had a target on their backs.
In my own little world, I know more than a dozen such people. Each has been squeezed out of positions in 2009 – or forced into the job market after a long absence to offset 401(k) losses - and a couple have already landed new gigs. With lots of talented candidates available for every open job right now, landing on one’s feet isn’t easy. And while there is no magic potion – no quick fix – there are some things you can do if you find yourself in this position:
Your Career Brand – this is an old saw by now - but many 50+ execs (heck, many 40+’ers for that matter) have not really needed to search for a job for a long time. Assess yourself and your key attributes and skills and shape all that into your personal “executive brand.”
Market Targeting – if you have been out of the job market for a time, it’s not necessarily the best approach to target the same career path you exited 5, 10 or 15 years ago. Most industries have morphed in the intervening years, so you need to think creatively about where your strengths can best be leveraged. Get creative in terms of industries – and give consideration to Education, Government or Not-for-Profit opportunities.