Redundancy at 50+ is a scary prospect. Many of us currently on furlough are worried about whether we’ll ever go back to our jobs.Being made redundant at any age is a difficult thing to deal with, but when you’re just that little bit older it suddenly seems as though there’s a much bigger mountain to climb. It’s not impossible though, we’ve come up with a list of top tips to ensure you can cope with the difficult stuff and continue turning over a decent wage well into your old age.
- Follow our plan
- A bit of positive thinking
- Make some quick cash
- Save it!
- Update your CV
- Consider consultancy work
- Try something new
- Get networking
1. Follow our plan
First things first – if you’re made redundant there are a few things you can do straight away. Read our Redundancy Action Plan for all the help you’ll need. It will tell you what to do before you leave the office with your belongings in a box, and exactly what you’re entitled to.
2. Be positive
We know redundancy at 50+ (or at any age) is pretty tough, but we want to remind you of a few reasons why your age can be advantageous:
If you’re over 50 then chances are you have a long and distinguished career behind you already. You’ll have a wealth of extensive experience that no graduate could ever hope to match.
You will also have built up a network of invaluable contacts within your profession; a huge plus for your future employer.
It sounds unlikely, but older people are often more able to cope with an adapting work place. You’ll be accustomed to changing procedures, techniques and technology, and you’ll have learned to change with them.
A study conducted by the Medical Research Council in Cambridge for the Channel 4 Dispatches programme concluded that older brains actually adapt exceptionally well and in some cases may even become stronger and more active than those of younger individuals.
So there you have it: youth and talent are no match for age and experience. And if you still need more cheering up, read our 63 reasons to be cheerful – guaranteed to put a smile on your face whatever your age.
3. Make extra cash
While you’re looking for another job we’ve got loads of ways for you to make a bit of extra cash on the side to tide you over.
Have a look at our 10 easy ways to make quick cash – one of our most popular articles. And for even more ideas, browse your way through our make money section and you’re bound to find something that appeals.
We’ve got some great quick moneymakers especially for the older generation including everything from house sitting to knitting – talk about easy money!
4. Save it!
You might as well make the most of any money you do make, so get it into a savings account as soon as you can. Interest rates are, admittedly, dire right now – but any return on your cash is better than none.
Regular savers are a good option because you only have to put a little away each month (£20 is usually the minimum) and you’ll make a decent return on your cash compared to the other dismal accounts out there at the moment.
If you’re worried about where to put your money, read our Golden Rules for Safer Savings to help you decide.
5. Revitalise your CV
Why not take this opportunity to make a spangly new CV to impress potential employers with? It might be a while since you’ve updated yours and you should seriously consider doing so.
A great thing to do is to send your CV as pdf file. Not only will it look more professional and slick, it will show off your technical expertise. Try using free converters like Doc2pdf to easily convert your existing text CV.
Remember that you don’t have to make a direct reference to your age in your CV. You’ve got a wealth of experience on your side, so it’s important you highlight that.
Find out how to write a killer CV here.
6. Keep up with the young ‘uns
While the kids are still playing with Instagram, make sure you get involved with social networking for grown-ups. Sites like Linkedin.com and Twitter help you stay in touch with other professionals of all ages and illustrate that you’re no technophobe. Linkedin also has specific sections for getting work and finding job opportunities. Your connections can recommend you for posts and let you know about jobs coming up.
Typing skills are also a major bonus. Test yourself online at sites like Typing Test and aim for 50-80wpm to compete with the nimble-fingered youth of today.
7. Consider consultancy
If you have significant experience in your profession, why not farm your knowledge and skills out? From gardening to tax advice, PR to publishing, in theory you can become a consultant in anything.
Get in touch with Businesslink to find out what opportunities they know of for consultants with your experience. You could find lots of online opportunities coming up at the moment, too, as companies now find remote working is a great option to get the best staff (that’s you!).
8. Try something new
Perhaps this is the opportunity you needed to start up a business you’ve always dreamed of running. Obviously you need to be sensible and have a realistic idea, but this is your chance to be adventurous.
It seems like now isn’t really the time to do it, but actually if you’ve got a really good idea and some solid plans it could be the perfect time. For loads of handy information to get you started, have a look at our 20 top tips for running your own business.
9. Remember it’s never too late to learn
If you don’t want all the responsibility of running your own business, you could still think about starting on a whole new career path. We’ve got a great article about boosting your job prospects for free. It’ll tell you where you can go for free online courses and how to listen to university lectures from the very best universities in the world like Oxford and Harvard.
10. Look out for age discrimination
Despite employment laws proscribing against age discrimination, mature men and woman can still find their way to top jobs barred by young, ambitious whizz-kids.
If you think you have experienced age discrimination when applying for new jobs or from your previous employer have a look at the AgeUK website. It has a whole section dedicated to age discrimination law and your rights, and is a great resource for guidance on making a complaint.
11. Get networking
Only a very small percentage of jobs are advertised. The vast majority are found through word-of-mouth and personal connections. Get out there and get networking to make contacts and massively increase your chance of finding another job.
If you have set up your own business join the Institute of Directors which has regular networking events and help for business people. Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce to join up and attend networking events. Speak to your local Business Link to find out what networking groups they know of in your area.
Get out there and make sure you have a handy business card and a friendly attitude. You never know what a chance meeting with an interesting person can lead to!
Find financial support
While you’re looking for work and figuring out your next option, remember there’s financial help out there for you. Check out these articles for financial tips while you’re looking to start your next career adventure.
- Why over 50s are the best at starting a business
- Investing for income when you’re over 50
- Benefits for the over 60s
- Help for the over 50s: how to save if you’re broke
I think it’s important that people realise that being made redundant can be a great opportunity for a new start. We see lots of 50+ people made redundant, but the worlds their oyster. Experience means a lot!
A very interesting article.
Good article. I have been experiencing the same Over 50 syndrome in the USA where you go on an interview, you learn the job requirements and know that can do, “fits iike a glove” and then you never hear from them again. Very difficult to prove age discrimination. I have to say that it is very hard to keep your chin up and keep smiling when times goes by and cannot land a job. Meantime, you have expenses and unemployment compensation is minimal and does not cover all.
I agree Jackie. Linkedin is a good place to start (I find it useful) and even Twitter (I’m on it at @Jasmine). Getting online and out at meetings really helps to make helpful connections.
You have shared some very good tips. My husband has just been made redundant and due to some very sound advice, has really put networking into gear. His list of contacts have been very willing to meet with him and discuss options or will keep their eyes open for any job possibilities.
also, an article I read recently says that most over 50’s who are made redundant get the best results for new employment with networking.
Hello Jasmine; It’s nice to have some useful information especially as I have been unemployed for the past 12 months! I was first made redundant after spending an awfully long time at my work place, due to contracting the work out to another company. And then had the misfortune to fall amiss into two positions which were both unsuitable, the last position firing me for not coming up to their rigid standards which really shocked me as at 56 I have never experienced that before! I am still searching for a suitable position and wish everyone the best of luck… Read more »