Myths vs Reality

Society today seems to be dominated by youth and beauty, and labels and stereotypes about mature aged workers can be a hidden trap.  Maybe it was always like this, but when we were young we thought it was perfectly normal.  Now it seems ageist to us! The media go wild about ‘beautiful young things’. Television programs seem to cater for and star young people. However, look a little harder, and you will see that there are many mature workers involved in every industry. 

When you stereotype something, you box it in. Age is a common stereotype.  The image of an older worker who is slow to learn, set in their ways and dull to have around is full of prejudice and stereotype.  It is also blatantly not accurate for most people.  However, ageism, sadly, is alive and well.

Nevertheless, let’s face facts here; some older people are indeed slow, finicky and dull and so fit the description and stereotype of Mature Aged Workers.  But so are some younger people!  What you have to avoid is falling into the trap of perpetuating that image. 

You are looking for work in the 21st century.  Workplaces are contemporary and you need to be contemporary also in order to be considered a suitable employee.  Don’t dress like a 25 year old, and conversely, don’t go to work looking like your grandmother.  You don’t need to be the computer whizz kid in the workplace, but you must have the appropriate level of skills for your job.  You can wear your glasses to read, but don’t make a big deal about the fact that you can’t read without them.  Get the idea?   Be your best self in the workplace, not some caricature of your age.

However, even if ageism and stereotypes are common today there are ways to overcome these challenges. While many employers seem to favor young workers there are also many employers who welcome older staff members. They appreciate experience and reliability. You have those qualities in spades. So you have to break free of the stereotypical mold. You can prove that the people who subscribe to stereotypes are just plain wrong. Your challenge is to communicate that you are capable, talented, reliable, enthusiastic and definitely a person worth hiring.

If you are feeling uncertain about your next step contact us at

The Essentials for a Winning Résumé

When you write a winning résumé you must consider whether you are writing it for the job you’re already performing or for the one you’d like to perform. There’s a big difference there and that’s a trap. Write your résumé to fit the job you want, not just regurgitating the responsibilities of the old job.

Before you start writing anything you need to have a strong understanding of what will make your résumé stand out from the crowd.

When you write your résumé you must consider whether you are writing it for the job you’re already performing or for the one you’d like to perform. There’s a big difference between these two perspectives and that’s a trap. Write your résumé to fit the job you want, not just regurgitating the responsibilities of the old job.

What happens if you think you have the ability and skills to do a job, but what you do at your current job does not really tell that story? That’s a good question. This is where some clever writing can help your application. This just means that you tailor a winning résumé to suit the job you are applying for. 

There are three things to consider here.

·         Your qualifications

·         Your work experience

·         Your life experience

Obviously the first two are relevant and important to your chances of success. But let’s say they don’t give you a fantastic rating in terms of the fit for the new job? Well that’s where the third element comes into play.

If you have had experiences outside your employment or if you’ve had achievements which were not part of your previous work, these can be highlighted. They can be used to illustrate your versatility and your all-round capabilities. 

“This above all, to thine own self be true
.”  – William Shakespeare

Before you start considering what job to apply for, or start thinking about writing a résumé, Do you know what you have to offer? What do you bring to the table? You need to know very clearly what you have to offer as an individual.  The following activities in the “Your Guide on the Side” workbook are all important, and each contributes to a slightly different, richer, view of you as a whole person. This workbook, supporting "New jobs For Older Workers" (available on Amazon) helps you identify all your transferable skills. 

Your Transferable Skills, Knowledge and Attributes

The skills you have acquired throughout your life, at work, and in the rest of your life through family commitments or interests, are not isolated to that particular context.  They are transferable to your new working environment.  Take the time to recognize themes as it is often the skills or knowledge that you take for granted which give you a unique point of difference from other job applicants.

·         Your Personality and Values

Your personality traits are an integral part of you and will impact on how you deal with many different aspects of the new work, such as stress or change, and particularly on how you will interact with work colleagues.

Your core values are at the heart of who you are as a person, your integrity and your ethics.  They determine the decisions you make and the sort of work environment where you will be comfortable.

Your Passions and Interests

Your passions and interests are clues about what you would love to have incorporated into your work. What do you bring to the table?  your skills are unique, don’t take them for granted but think of them like cryptic clues!  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that those clues, those interests and passions, must be directly translated into an occupation. 

Go deeper…What it is that you really like about this?  For example you may love gardening.  It is the joy of being outdoors, or is it the plant biology?  Is it the peace and tranquility you get when gardening, or the challenge of having the best garden in your suburb?  Is it the appeal of being environmentally friendly in your garden and creating a sustainable ecosystem?  Could it be the money-saving or health-giving benefits of having fresh organic vegetables and herbs growing in your garden?  Is it simply your time away from everyone? 

Often what seems like an interest in your life, something unrelated to your worklife, is actually the reflection of a deeply held core value!



“Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost

Before making any career change you should define the aspects of your working life which, when combined, will enable you to gain great satisfaction and fulfilment from your work.  Hopefully you’ll soon become one of those people who say “I love my work!” 

Do you know what you have to offer? Whatever sort of career change you want to make, there will be a three key elements that determine whether you should consider a particular job or career decision.

·         What the work can offer

·         What you can offer

·         What you really want. 

What the work can offer

People usually read a job advertisement fairly carefully, (and you’ll be ahead of the game if you have read the tips in "New Jobs For Older Workers" (available on Amazon)  about how to read between the lines of a job advertisement).  However surprisingly few people find out all they can about a company and about the people they’d be working with.  The combination of Google, LinkedIn and company websites is a great place to start this important research. Remember that you are checking them out just as they are checking you out.  Don’t take a job without knowing something about the company.

What you can offer

In the workbook supporting "New Jobs For Older Workers" you create a series of precious documents detailing your skills, experience, personal attributes, values etc.  In preparing to write your résumé you should have recognized your many work-related achievements.  You have much to offer, so think carefully about where you want to share your lifetime of accumulated value.

Your unique criteria

When you know what you have to offer and bring together all those important aspects of you there is no need to doubt your capabilities, as you have considered the response to the question do you know what you have to offer?  This important intersection is where you will find a unique combination that provides you with what you are really seeking in your worklife. Think of the intersection of these ideas as your  “sweet spot” where you will truly love your work. 


Of course no-one can guarantee that when you recognise this “sweet spot” you will be able to immediately find work which meets your needs completely.  However you have a far higher chance of finding or creating it if you have recognised what it is that you really want to do!

If you would like to see this diagram in more detail go to


“Don’t wait until everything is just right.  It will never be perfect.  There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.  So what?  Get started now. How can you build your confidence?  With each step you take you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful” – Mark Victor Hansen

Armed with the awareness of your transferable skills, knowledge, attributes, your personality and values, and the clues that your interests and passions have given you, I hope you are feeling very confident about your personal value.  Becoming a confident person involves developing a high level of self-awareness.

Confidence enables you to show who you really are and what you are capable of.  With confidence, you can attack your situation, keep going if hurdles or problems arise and use your inner strength to make the best possible impression on employers.  However when you are experiencing problems at work it is common to experience crises of confidence.

In the context of a critical career change in your life, you need to be able to build your confidence in order to move from your comfort zone into new territory. 

How can you build your confidence? Confidence can mean the difference between you making that career change easily or with a struggle. With confidence you can attack your situation, keep going if hurdles or problems arise and use your inner strength to make the best possible impression on employers.  Confidence enables you to show who you really are and what you are capable of. 

How do you build your confidence? Here are five critical steps you need to take:

·         Fake it ‘til you make it:  Recognize the behaviors which indicate that your self-confidence is not strong.  Change these behaviors and you will change the way people perceive you.

·         Face the demons:  Identify the areas of your life in which your self-confidence is lacking.

·         Face the challenges with courage and wisdom:  Career change is not a blind leap of fate, but rather a conscious decision with a calculated risk.

·         Learn and grow: Develop an attitude of learning from everything and growing into a mature person, an individual oozing with confidence and who can take on any challenges with gusto.

·         Feel empowered: Allow yourself to consider all styles of work, even those that you have not done before.  Whatever your decision, you will know that you made your choice having considered all options.

 Feeling confident and empowered is vital to your success find out more information by visiting