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What are your experiences of the job market? Share with Mumsnet Talent - £100 voucher to be won

(106 Posts)
LucyBGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 06-Apr-20 11:20:30

In a recent survey, 37% of over 50s told us that others in the workplace have assumed that they’re not career motivated. With that clearly not the case for many, Mumsnet Talent - which focuses on flexibility in the workplace and encouraging employers to accept employees’ varied lifestyles - would like to hear about your experience of the job market as you’ve gotten older.

Here’s what Mumsnet Talent has to say: “With the state pension age ever-increasing, more and more people are working into their sixties and beyond. With this in mind, it’s crucial that employers make sure their workplace is equipped to support older people to develop and maintain their careers. Along with Gransnet, we’re working to raise awareness of this across all sectors, recently hosting a roundtable discussion with some of the UK’s top employers to discuss the ways in which roles can be made accessible to everyone.”

Have you found potential employers value the wealth of experience you bring to the table? Or perhaps you’ve felt that your age has had a negative impact on being offered roles? Have you experienced assumptions that you won’t be able to cope with tech platforms while at work, or that you’re hesitant to change?

Whatever your experience of the job market as you’ve gotten older, share it on the thread below to be entered into a prize draw where one GNer will win a £100 voucher for a store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


Insight Terms and Conditions apply

Gaunt47 Mon 06-Apr-20 11:46:33

I retired to a small town which I loved and where I knew I would be able to continue in employment, albeit as a seasonal worker in shops.
Luckily I look 10/15 years younger than I am!
Then a few years ago in my late 60s I lucked into the best job in the world where being older is an advantage and most of my co-workers are of approximately the same age. It is part time, seasonal work which widened my horizons and keeps me on my toes.

quizqueen Wed 08-Apr-20 09:07:19

Having retired from teaching children with special needs- behavioural and educational-I now help out on a casual basis at a local children's day nursery and give advice on teaching ideas.

Harris27 Wed 08-Apr-20 09:25:35

I’m 60and still working. I am a nursery nurse and the oldest there. I know,I have to keep up with others especially the fitter girls who have lots of eneryg. I’ve been there 18 years and at the minute furloughed so have time to think about my work position I feel fortunate enough to be in a place where I’m comfortable there are new ideas and courses and I try and keep up. This tear we moved to iPad planning which i was worried about but have kept up and love it. I do have to work till I’m 66 and I hope health being ok I should be able to do this. I find it very enjoyable and love the children.

lillyofthevalley Wed 08-Apr-20 10:19:30

I feel my lack of IT skills and lack of confidence would mean, although I would love a job where I can flourish and make a difference. I have always worked, never been off work ill and am punctual. Maybe when this pandemic has left us, an adult education on-line course is what I need.

gran1 Wed 08-Apr-20 11:10:27

I am the oldest on the team but have enjoyed being an exam invigilator.

knickas63 Wed 08-Apr-20 11:45:23

I have applied for several jobs in the last few years, which I know I meet the criteria for, but which I haven't even been shortlsted. I know that my bio was good. I can only presume that my CV, which lists 'O' Levels, gives my age away. I have always been very IT literate, I have advanced IT skills and I have kept up with any trainig on offer. I pick up IT systems very quickly - but it is presumed that because of my age (56) that I am the sort of person to struggle wiht mobile apps and IT! It is infuriating. I really feel my age is now against me. Ageism may be against the law, but it is easy to come up with a passable reason as an excuse. I think my rather curvy size may also be against me hmm

fevertree Wed 08-Apr-20 12:46:00

I got a new job (senior management post) six months after I turned 60, I was interviewed by quite a scary panel and up against a strong suite of applicants.

I loved my job and continued working in it for 10 years, so until I was 70+ (having retired from it in January this year).

grannyactivist Wed 08-Apr-20 18:22:40

Five years ago I started, and now manage, a successful charity project and just yesterday, completely out of the blue, I was asked if I would set up and manage a very similar project, but with paid staff and volunteers. The salary they offered me was was eye-wateringly good and took account of my extensive experience, overlooking my age of sixty six! I had no hesitation in turning down the offer because my current project is not at a stage where I have a successor to run it after me and I also plan to retire when I'm seventy. I'm still in shock to be honest and really rather chuffed. Who would have imagined that I'd be 'headhunted' at my age?! grin

Tillymint21 Wed 08-Apr-20 18:31:55

I work for a local authority and, because of austerity cuts and little recruitment over recent years, there is a disproportionate number of people over 40. Every dept is continually going into ‘review’ to make savings and those with the longest service often take voluntary redundancy. It is a good working environment with relatively secure jobs if you are older and already working there, but there are fairly limited prospects of getting through the door there for newbies of any age.

Evie64 Wed 08-Apr-20 21:01:03

I currently work as a finance administrator in a school. I've been there almost 8 years now. I was a very experienced and fully qualified NHS General Practice Manager when we lived in London. I managed a practice with 35 clinical staff and 10,500 patients. I was 58 when we moved to Exeter in Devon, I applied for the perfect job, a part time Practice Manager at the GP Practice serving Exeter University students. I can't help but think that the reason I didn't get it was because of my age? I applied for lots of other jobs in all areas unsuccessfully before landing this one at the school and was promoted within 3 months of being there. Very unfair to be judged on your age instead of your experience/skills. In my experience it's the youngsters who go off sick all the time without reason. They don't have the commitment years of working gives you. Sorry for the rant!

finemang Thu 09-Apr-20 08:13:19

I think most of us think we are not valued and as a result we don't ask! Ask for different working hours, ask for a different position, ask for a payrise!
I have been both employed and an employee and you will be surprised how well it may go!
But foremost, you have to be keen and willing to work hard

oldgimmer1 Thu 09-Apr-20 08:26:02

I went back to work age 58, after a long period of caring for others. I managed to find a job in a charity which I enjoy. I'm still clinging on - just. I have no issues with work, I am in good health and feel I am as able as anyone to grasp new ideas and develop new skills. Intellectually, I'm on top of my game.

I'm still ambitious and starting to look for other jobs now.

I'm very conscious that my qualifications will age me. I'm proud of my academic achievements and my experience but conscious that listing it will trigger an "oldgimmer" alert. grin.

TwiceAsNice Thu 09-Apr-20 09:03:26

I am a very experienced therapist and clinical supervisor. I relocated areas when I was 61 and got a job counselling in a sixth form college and supervising three trainees. I beat the younger candidates to get the job.

I left that job and got another in an independent senior school at age 64. They certainly appreciate my experience, I advise the younger staff often and was told that I gave one of the best interviews they’d seen. I am negotiating to give other staff non managerial supervision ( which wasn’t in the original role) and they have increased my hours to keep up with uptake of appts. I’m very happy there and intend to work for a good while longer. I already have my state pension which I got at 63. I have certainly not found either employer to be ageist, quite the reverse.

Teddy5005 Thu 09-Apr-20 16:29:22

I am a registered nurse with health problems! I am 63 now , if retirement age had not changed it would have been fine. I do enjoy working though , it keeps you alert as you work with younger people . I did not qualify until I was 40 and children grown up. So I have had the best of both worlds . I will do voluntary work when I completely have to stop work . I did have to upgrade my diploma to a degree at my own expense!

DotMH1901 Thu 09-Apr-20 16:30:18

I am 64 and have had a home computer since the good old days of the ZX81. I find it amusing that younger people 'assume' I know nothing about using IT

cillastubbs Thu 09-Apr-20 18:50:02

I retired 10 years ago but after a few years I felt I still had something to give to the community. I started invigilating at the local comprehensive school. It can be challenging but the colleagues who have become friends make it very worth while

kevincharley Thu 09-Apr-20 22:27:48

My last job change was aged 56. It was a complete change of employment from 40 years of working in finance to working in healthcare administration.

albertina Fri 10-Apr-20 06:29:42

I left teaching through ill health and got a job in a supermarket. While there I started part time training to be a manicurist. At 52 I wasn't the oldest on the course, but most students were teenagers or in their early 20s.
After leaving the supermarket after three years on the shop floor and tills, I took a part time job in a market research call centre. I found that I was popular with younger staff members whose knowledge of spelling, geography etc wasn't always brilliant. I was a convenient source of quick answers !
Life experience made me a good candidate for one of the ongoing jobs there. That was to ring victims of crime, road traffic accidents etc on behalf of a police force in the north. All these victims had ticked a box to say that they were willing to complete a survey on how the police managed their case. Being older really helped in these calls.

Tergly Fri 10-Apr-20 10:28:32

I will need to work until I am 66 and my admin job should let me do this and maybe reduce my days and work a few years more. But our health does not improve as we get older and I wonder how many of us will actually be fit enough especially when it state retirement age rises again.

Babs758 Fri 10-Apr-20 15:39:54

I started as a temp at a university and basically never left. Got promoted three times and, each time, would ask at the right time if there were other openings etc. Only threatened to leave once when a male manager took early retirement and I had been practically doing his job for three years. So I said I would like to be considered. When the head said they had another “about-to-be retired make manager” in mind I said unless I was considered they were to consider this the first day of my three month notice period. I was interviewed for the post and got it. I should not have had to fight so hard but was prepared to leave if necessary.

That was ten years ago and luckily I have been successful. My retirement age is not until 66 but I have been ploughing extra money I into my pension so could retire earlier if I need to. Currently getting prepared for furloughing due to the nature of my job and will use that time to think about options. I suspect many of us will be considering this.

I am also active in my union and undertaking counselling and casework, so maybe there could be a new career path there. It is exhausting but worth doing and I learn a lot.

kathcake Fri 10-Apr-20 16:21:49

I definitely think age has an affect on how an employer sees you. When you have all these new graduates coming through teh door they're more likely to take them on then you

marymod Sat 11-Apr-20 00:36:40

I think the true situation is a mixture of the two - wanting new blood who are seen as being driven and dynamic and needing those staff with experience and knowledge over many years.

I value my work/life balance and know that I have the respect of my colleagues who will ask my opinion and advice as so many issues are cyclical.

Janetashbolt Sat 11-Apr-20 09:10:44

retired from a high stress office job in Dec 2014, wanted a change, worked on the checkouts at B&Q, had a great time. Too old for standing right next to the door all seasons, now work two days at a GPs. Also exam invigilate at two local schools though that's on hold now of course. Having a great end of career

shirleyb1 Sat 11-Apr-20 11:24:40

I was 50 when my job as general manager became redundant (my company was bought out by a larger firm) and I struggled for a year to find something that would give me a challenge and continue my career. I was despondent and definitely feeling age was against me.
I was eventually employed as the Practice Manager of a GP surgery, my new employers recognised my wide management experience and maturity in dealing with people, I retired at 65; it was the most rewarding job possible and because of my age and situation I was able to give the role my total commitment. I will always be grateful for being given such an amazing opportunity, what a wonderful job.