Tom Kamber, Founding Executive Director of Older Adults Technology Services, explains how older workers can reboot their outlook on technology and work.
Tom's Top 5 Tips
1. Network relentlessly, and don't assume your closest friends and family will be your best source of contacts. Move outside your immediate social group and make new connections.
2. Demonstrate learning drive and build technology skills. Older workers are often viewed by employers as technophobic or difficult to retrain. Make sure your resume says otherwise.
3. Be flexible. Older workers in particular often have to take a pay cut or change job categories when re-entering the workforce after a period of unemployment.
4. Freelance and volunteer work can be a great way to establish recent work history, enhance your resume and build new contacts.
5. Join a support group. Many of the seniors we work with have emphasized the value of using a support group while they look for a job. This is critical for those who may be looking for many months or even years.
Tom's Top Resources
1. The Senior Planet Exploration Center at 127 West 25th Street is a free drop-in center run by OATS that offers classes on technology and workforce skills for seniors.
2. SeniorPlanet.org is a website run by OATS that offers many events that can help with networking, as well as online content relating to jobs and other topics for older adults.
3. FEGS Experience2Work is a multi-week workforce development "boot-camp" for seniors. This program will enhance skills, build a resume and give concrete support in looking for a job.
4. AARP local chapters. AARP is the national leader in helping older adults find work. Their website is full of useful tips, and their volunteer programs can help you make important connections.
5. Department for the Aging, Senior Community Service Employment Program. This program is designed for very low-income seniors who have serious barriers to employment.