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

(107 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

Meggymoos Sat 11-Apr-20 16:44:59

I have been trying to find work picking fruit and vegetables during this crisis difficult. I thought farmers were crying out for workers with so much wastage being mentioned on tv. I also thought being in Devon, there would be ample opportunities, but alas, I’m struggling to find anything ?

TM12 Sat 11-Apr-20 18:06:40

As a teacher, the longer you have been employed, the higher up the pay scale you tend to be, which subsequently makes you very expensive if you want to try for a position at another school; for the same price they can normally afford to hire two newly qualified teachers instead of one experienced one.

Gwenisgreat1 Sun 12-Apr-20 16:31:01

In 2002 I took a job in a care home for adults with learning disabilities, As far as I was concerned it was only for 3 months - 10 years later I finally retired at the age of 67. I enjoyed my work and made lots of friends with whom I am still in touch. The main reason I retired? My body wasn't keeping up with my mind (arthritis was setting in). It helped me greatly when my little grandson was born with Down Syndrome, otherwise I wouldn't have had a clue how to support my daughter. I now love looking after the little fellow and his 3 year old cousin.

I was also doing complementary therapies which I continued for a short time after finishing work. So yes, there is plenty of scope for us oldies!

Authoress Mon 13-Apr-20 10:41:53

As a writer, I can work anywhere, any time, any age.

missdeke Mon 13-Apr-20 10:45:58

I was working in Company Pensions when at the age of 51 I decided it was time for a change of direction. I applied to a number of companies where I was ignored or told to go away I was to old!!! But one company saw something in me that the others didn't and that was it, I became a Holiday Rep!!

I saw places and had experiences that I never thought I could have had, I met so many people, some of whom became special friends and I spent 13 years in countries I had never expected to go to. The pay was appalling, the security was non-existent, but I am so glad I took the plunge and I am forever grateful to the company that took the plunge with me.

Rowsie Mon 13-Apr-20 10:49:56

I never had a problem getting jobs as I got older. I had been with one company for over 20 years and when I was made redundant at 50 years old I was worried I would not be able to get a job. However I applied to numerous companies, got three interviews and was offered two of the jobs. I do not think age is a problem but maybe a lack of confidence is the problem.

Angelwings Mon 13-Apr-20 10:51:04

I love keeping up with tech, fashions and the company of people of all ages. I’m a very social person with a friendly outgoing nature and I’m not afraid of hard work. However, after many years of working in a caring role I have a very bad back now, this makes standing, bending or walking for more than an hour impossible so jobs are restricted due to this.
I think voluntary work is a great alternative for me and if I find myself with enough time to spare on a regular basis I will certainly swap over to this.

baggiebird Mon 13-Apr-20 11:11:48

I changed roles 5 years ago and went to work in a supermarket for the first time ever I am 58 now and I work with a lot if younger people at university and working part time and I have such fun with them. We get on brilliantly and they say I am very young at heart , I make them all cakes on their birthdays and we learn from each other.I am treated well at work and I am happy in my job.I also find I have changed a lot and surprise myself with my confidence.I have no problems being an older worker and find maybe even I get more respect because of my experience.

libra10 Mon 13-Apr-20 11:14:19

Since retiring I haven't looked for other work.

Love to be outside walking my dog, and also have lots of hobbies which I enjoy. We also have friends and family who we see regularly.

dahlia08 Mon 13-Apr-20 11:38:29

I loved my job although physically demanding(hard work). Because I could meet friends, colleagues. I had to leave my work on medical ground( back, shoulder, knee pain) although I was over 60 years I wanted to still work,,,keep my job may do part time but could not. As I was over 60, did not get any compensation or anything. But I am ok now because I got grandsons to be proud of. Only wish there was no lockdown, isolation then I could see them them twice a week. (Be with them, cook for them, read, play, collect them from school). Miss them.

Nendels Mon 13-Apr-20 11:42:39

I was made redundant in my mid 50s as my department was taken over. I hated the new firm, but still felt useless when I walked out the door with others. Despite having experience and 2 degrees I could not even get interviews. I felt really unwanted and definitely redundant. However, 10 years ago a friend said she was invigilating exams in a local school. I applied, got an interview, and I am still there at 73. Busy months are May and June, but there are also other opportunities throughout the year with mocks etc. I feel useful and wanted again. Plus with grand children care I definitely feel useful and needed. I will miss the summer exams with the schools being closed.

Roddi3363 Mon 13-Apr-20 12:05:19

I am still working at 65 and work with a wide range of people in education, play and child care. I provide training, speak at conferences, consult/advise and write. 99% of the folk I work with are there for children and do their very best for their learning, play and care. It takes a real mixture of people, backgrounds, and diversities to provide role-models for children and young people and I'm pleased to work with them. They inspire me and keep me young.

MichStew Mon 13-Apr-20 12:13:37

I was lucky enough to be able to retire at 60 and prior to that was in a job where promotion and/or a move to a new posting was largely based on competence in the job which generally also took account of the experience and its breadth that comes with age and time in the job. Far from there being a worry that staff would not be able to cope with new technology there were constant demands from staff for that IT to be made more effective and relevant to the tasks they were required to perform.
As a general comment on this forum and all others why can you not put the reply box immediately below the question which would mean the respondent could view both together - at least at the start of the comments? As things are the respondent has to scroll through all the existing replies to look (again) at the question. That is poor page design.

Grannyjacq1 Mon 13-Apr-20 12:18:18

I retired as a teacher 7 years ago, age 61, but still work for 6 or so weeks every summer marking exam papers for one of the exam boards. I can work from home and more or less choose which hours I work. My experience of teaching for 35 years, during which time the exams changed from O levels, to CSEs to GCSEs - and many variations within these categories - has put me in an ideal position to be able to offer a valuable service as an examiner. Markers/examiners receive a 'report' at the end of each marking period, and I have always been in the top category for accuracy and reliability. I have even been asked to apply for a more senior position - but so far have turned down this offer. So I think that in my case, experience has triumphed over age to provide me with the satisfaction of being able to do a job like this, as well as some additional income.

Isobelw Mon 13-Apr-20 12:47:16

I work in a team where there are a range of ages. We all bring different skills and experiences.

Flossieflyby Mon 13-Apr-20 12:53:44

In the past few years - since I was 60 - I have continued doing occasional work for the local authority as well as doing ad hoc house sitting - am happy the way I've been treated - being older has been an asset.

jocork Mon 13-Apr-20 14:16:53

I am due to retire in a few months so am not looking to further my career. My problem has been that while 'working from home' during the coronavirus crisis I am expected to undergo online training courses. If I complete them all I'll never use my new found skills! I know I should show willing as I'm being paid, but it does seem a bit pointless. I've decided just to do one or two that interest me and hope I can get away with that.

Carado Mon 13-Apr-20 14:20:52

As a retired teacher, I could get some work as an exam invigilator. I don't, as I think younger non-retired part-time staff welcome these extra hours of income and I don't really need it. Better to spend my spare time doing voluntary work.

Qwerty Mon 13-Apr-20 15:05:25

I worked as a teacher then took a break doing part time teaching work whilst our children were young. I went back to teaching and, around my 40th birthday, applied for and got a job training teachers at a university. They were looking for "new blood" and took on a lot of lecturers of a similar age to me. My mother though said it was good I got the job then because at 40 women were "past it". (We never got on well!)
I loved the job but took redundancy after 16 years as one of my adult children was seriously ill miles away and I looked after him for a short while. This also shook me up so
I took another less demanding job in education on a short term contract. When that ended I took another job in education, at 57, where I stayed until my 60th birthday. I gave my notice in then because I wanted to look after my first grandchild whilst her mother retrained. I was lucky in that I was due to retire at 60 yrs 4 months as I was only just "caught" in the changing retirement age. The last almost 10 years I have looked after several grandchildren with my husband who retired early. Since the grandchildren are all at school now we help out before and after school and in the holidays and do voluntary work, unpaid. I support a post graduate student teaching English to refugees and asylum seekers. I was offered the chance to do the teaching (unpaid) but, although I love it, I don't want to go back to doing all the preparation and it's not my main area of expertise, but it suits me well as I can't stand for long periods due to arthritis. So personally ageism hasn't affected my working life. Sexism has been more of an issue for many women as they often get paid less than men doing comparable jobs.

Seakay Mon 13-Apr-20 17:17:02

Although many jobs say that they require experience, people with ideas etc I often get the impression that these things aren't really valued at interview stage. Sometimes it feels as though the interviewer is intimidated and rather than taking the attitude that the company will benefit they worry more about being out performed by someone who would be junior to them. My (female) friend has often experienced this also, - often after failing an interview we ask for feedback and are told we are "over qualified".

Anj123 Mon 13-Apr-20 19:46:39

In May last year I was made redundant from my post as a policy officer, after 27 years of working for a local authority. I was gutted. I spent the summer job hunting and it was then I realised how difficult it was finding another job. However, I don’t think it was to do with my age but a mixture of being de skilled and wanting part time work. I had gone job share after my daughter was born 15 years ago, and I know I’m fortunate in that I don’t want to work full time, and can afford to do so.

In September I took a big pay cut and started working in a call centre. I hated being on the phones all the time, and managed to get a job back at the local authority where I worked before. It was a lower grade than the job I had where I was made redundant but more that the call centre. I started in January and am enjoying it but feel disappointed that I couldn’t get a job on the same level as what I had before. However, I know things could be a lot worse. I have brilliant colleagues and am currently able to work from home.

oldgimmer1 Tue 14-Apr-20 08:33:07

I think your experience is fairly typical, anj123.

I think getting a decent job was easier back in the day, even if you weren't a "professional" as such. A lot of those jobs don't exist any more or are like gold dust.

I gave up "proper" work for 14 years. I have a Masters' and two postgraduate qualifications, alongside 23 years' unbroken work experience.

It did not occur to me that I would find getting another job difficult, but it was almost impossible. I didn't know where to begin. I volunteered for 2 years before getting paid work.

Work is so casualised these days. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky to have work at all. sad

burwellmum Tue 14-Apr-20 08:37:45

I was made redundant 27 years ago when I tried to return to work having had my second child. Have not had paid employment since then although I have done voluntary work.
I think when this is all over I will look around although I fear that there will be a lot of competition.

JessK Tue 14-Apr-20 09:41:53

I worked over retirement age and wasn't treated any differently at all. Probably because I worked in a government department and they are pretty hot on that sort of thing and had quite a senior position.
When I did retire I did some voluntary work and felt I was treated quite badly in that I was given the worst jobs in the office to do and mucked about with the times they wanted me to work. I didn't mind turning my hand to anything but I did feel they were trying to push me out. Needless to say I didn't stay too long.

hopezibah Tue 14-Apr-20 21:56:04

When I was around 40 I wanted to return to the sort of work that I had left to raise my family but found I seemed "too old" to fit in with the commitment and lifestyle that goes with that type of job. So in the end I settled for a minimum wage job rather than following the career path of what I was trained for and good at - That felt really demoralising. I stuck with it for 18 months - but then worked out that financially it didn't make sense as I still had childcare costs for my youngest child to consider and so I was working for very little by the time I'd paid for childcare. There is definitely a pool of talented parents out there who have taken a break to raise a family and then feel "written off " by employers because of lack of flexibility or willingness to give them a chance. Luckily my digital skills are good (I recently did a course to improve my digital skills and turned out to already be "top of the class" so that has boosted my confidence for the next job I apply for.