After we lose a job, it seems that everyone has somewhere to go each day but us. Driving next to others, they appear to be on a mission to get to work to perform a job that we don’t have. “Why them and not me,” we would ask.

Why do others seem to get what I want? How do they do that? They remain employed in seemingly good positions; receive promotions, raises and bonuses. I’m receiving unemployment checks and sad-face looks.

This is especially hard to fathom when we take stock of the individual who has something that we want. Sometimes we see others succeed who have less education, experience and drive than we do.

 
 

What’s their secret? What do they know that we don’t? Did our secret decoder ring not break this code?

It might be less complicated than you think. Let’s look at a few reasons why this might be happening to you and how you can turn the tables in your favor.

Finding Work After 50: It’s Not About Opportunity but How You Position Yourself

SquarePeg wasn’t conceived as a job-matching or job-placement site. This was by design. There are plenty of them out there from Indeed to CareerBuilder to LinkedIn. The issue isn’t in finding jobs to apply for.

The real disconnect is in positioning yourself to optimize the opportunity. We discovered that we were missing the mark in our applications, interviews and resources used to win work.

SquarePeg’s value proposition to its member community is to offer tools, resources, coaching, concern and community. This is all designed to help you focus on presenting your best self in every opportunity that comes your way.

Proper positioning will effectively reconnect your personal brand with the marketplace and help you reimagine your career.

Think a Little but Do a Lot

People who are smart most often think before they act. The problem arrives when they overthink things to a point of paralysis. All their thinking has led to little or no action.

There comes a time when theories need to be tested by reaching out to the universe and seeing who and what answers. Endless researching, planning, thinking, listing and talking must give way to simply doing.

Action creates more action. It’s called momentum and traction. Fill out some applications, reach out to a recruiter, invite someone to a coffee meeting, attend a mixer or pick up the phone and call a contact.

The fear of rejection will surely result in receiving one. Many times it’s not because of the people that we know or don’t know; it’s not about the opportunities or lack thereof. It’s simply because we haven’t created enough action.

Nothing Entitles You to a Job or Career

Just because you have a pedigree, held a senior position or made a decent salary doesn’t guarantee that any of this will continue or reemerge. Look no further than the tragic case of Enron some 15 years ago as evidence of that.

The real estate and banking sectors seven short years ago further assure us that this statement is true. You may be at a point of restart where it is going to take a net present look at who you are today and what you must offer, to get hired.

Drop the entitlement and high expectations and focus on the reality at hand. You can’t get back into the corner office if you can’t get into the building.

The Book and Its Cover

That person of whom you’re thinking right now, the one who has a job, may just have a little something that could help you right now. Maybe they’re not educated to your extent. Perhaps they aren’t relatively street smart as well.

Your wardrobe is fit for a Kardashian. They shop at Kohl’s. You’re articulate and outgoing, while they’re not as glib and a bit socially shy. So what is it then? Maybe they:

  • Have a positive mental outlook. They can find the good in most everyone and everything.
  • Can tell their story to others in a compelling and memorable way.
  • Have gained a deeper understanding of what a position, company or person needs from them and learned how to leverage it.
  • Built a personal network and gave some piece of themselves to it.
  • Interview with poise, confidence and sincerity instead of flash and a sense of entitlement.
  • Have sharpened their tools (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, interviewing techniques) to message their brand impressively.

The truth is, you are not getting the opportunities that you want because you’re missing something that other people value. With a few changes here, you’ll make considerable changes “out there.”

It’s not comfortable to think about, but if you knew how to do this yourself, you would have a job already. The good news is that if people who you judged to be less capable than you can do it, you can too. Now as Nike tells us, just do it.

Are you currently looking for work? What actions are you taking to position yourself in a positive light? What do you think the keys are to finding work after 50? Please join the discussion below.

Jeff HenningJeff Henning is a business leader and educator in Southern California. He is the father of 10 daughters. His expertise is in creating meaningful change within a business to drive results focused upon people, profits and planet. Jeff is the co-founder of No Square Peg, an organization that recognizes the tremendous challenge Baby Boomers face while attempting to reinvent themselves in the new career landscape.

Let's Have a Conversation!