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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

marjoriedior Mon 04-May-20 20:49:47

I work as a Children’s Mentor in a primary school. I’m 63 and will retire at 66 years and 4 months... not that I’m counting. I have mixed feelings as whilst I love the idea of having loads of time to prioritise my hobbies I also love my job!

Mitchypop Mon 04-May-20 11:46:40

My experience has been a bit easier as jobs in my field are based on length of experience and skills. In Canada it’s often the opposite

JKilkelly9 Sun 03-May-20 11:18:55

I served 25 years in the Royal Navy, and then I joined the Civil Service working in a Plymouth Jobcentre. I thoroughly both of these careers immensely, and the Jobcentre work gave me a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment as I was helping long term unemployed people find sustainable employment. I am now semi-retired and work as a Director for a retirement village in West Devon. I enjoy this work very much, as I am able to help the elderly residents overcome any problems that they have, and also help with any minor chores.

suzieo1 Sun 03-May-20 08:26:47

I feel I am treated equally in my workplace despite my age. When I get older I see myself setting up my own small business.

flaxwoven Sat 02-May-20 17:05:23

I was interviewed by 3 people and employed by a hospital aged 58 as a support medical secretary. I had no medical background whatsoever but I learnt my job and the other secretary's jobs who I had to cover for, and it was the most interesting and rewarding job of my life. My fast typing, accuracy, ability to work as a team, and mature age was an asset. My age and life experience was helpful when dealing with anxious and troubled patients on the phone. I retired age 64 to care for grandchildren but was able to carry on working on a temporary basis (called the bank) to cover staff holidays and sickness and this was much appreciated. It was always "we are happy with whatever hours you can do".

WoodLane7 Sat 02-May-20 16:47:28

I changed job at 55, but it was a Local Authority and they seem to be a bit more together with Equal Ops than some private sector employers

tonycarbone Sat 02-May-20 12:44:28

Have not had experience of the job market for 4.5 years. I bet it's really tough now!

Bobbins Sat 02-May-20 11:25:39

I still work in a school as a Teaching Assistant. I love it, all my colleagues treat me with dignity and respect ( although not all the kids do🤣)

paperbackbutterfly Fri 01-May-20 14:36:54

After working in education until I was 60 I decided I wanted a career change. It took me a month to find my perfect job. I'm a costumed demonstrator working in a Victorian open air museum. I love it. I still educate people about Victorian life but I get to role play and meet new and interested people from all ages everyday. It's perfect for me.

Grosvenor Fri 01-May-20 12:47:35

When my first child was a year old and I was ready to go back to work as a teacher, I was advised by the interviewing panel, mostly middle-aged women, to stay at home till she started school and be a good mother. They appointed a man with no qualifications in the subject to be taught, and I was not surprised when most of the GCSE students failed to get decent grades.
We needed the money, so I applied at another school where I stayed happily for twelve years.

jkenn Fri 01-May-20 12:41:51

I still work in Housing the same job I have had for 25 years, but just started as a teaching assistant for children with difficulties at home or bereavement and if they will have me thinking of a career change. I am in my sixties

Mumi Fri 01-May-20 12:33:26

After starting a new career in teaching after my children were born, I took a leap and became self-employed. We then bought a beautiful house with outbuildings and started our own holiday business which we ran for 15 years. I realised that we would need to sell it and move on before I got too old to keep up with the physical demands. At this stage, I considered myself unemployable.

I had reached my 60s but still wanted to make an economic contribution to our household and I missed the job satisfaction that I had when working so was delighted when I found a part-time job on MumsNet that I could do from home. I was quickly made to feel part of the team and have been enjoying contributing and using my past experience to help others. It has given my confidence a real boost and I would encourage anyone not to let age be a barrier. We've all got something to offer.

chris8888 Fri 01-May-20 12:29:38

I took early retirement for social care sector management role when my daughter got seriously ill. She lost her battle with cancer and I knew I couldn`t face a high pressure job again. I have found volunteering fits the gap between isolation and feeling far too young to be completely retired. I volunteer in a community kitchen so still involved with people. I did find some ageism creeping into social care though before I left.

rozina Thu 30-Apr-20 20:42:42

I did used to work for the NHS up to the age of 70. I left of my own accord as I didn't enjoy the last job I had with them (I worked freelance and temporary in office work). However after we recover from lockdown I would really like to start work again, but wouldn't go back to the NHS as I've got behind now with software and it's so very difficult getting training for temps with the NHS. I would take on anything else though (within reason), but before lockdown I had difficulty even getting a Supermarket job. I spoke to one employee in a Supermarket and she said it took her at least a year to get her job and she is much younger than me. Everything of course is done online now. I do feel, even at the age now of 71, I would like to consider training for something new, but I do feel now at this age that whilst I AM WILLING, all people see at an interview is how old you are, sadly.

kathcake Thu 30-Apr-20 15:30:37

i;ve worked in the same admin job for years, it's nice and safe!

MaggieMay69 Thu 30-Apr-20 10:53:48

I have been a Nurse for many years, a wonderfully fulfilling job that I dreamed about since I was a young girl, but have sadly seen our NHS decline dreadfully over the years which slowly slowly took the joy from my work, because I felt so helpless.
Staff do what they can with what they have but our Government have a lot to answer for.

mumagain Wed 29-Apr-20 21:08:38

I was made redundant twice within 2 years just after reaching my 50th birthday. I started working for my current company and constantly applied for promotion in different depts over the years with no success the positions ultimately being given to younger not necessarily qualified people over the years I told myself I wouldn’t but still kept applying - it’s a big company with multiple departments . At age 60 I started receiving a pension from a previous job and decided to cut my hours from 5 to 4 days a week . Last year I decided to have one last try for promotion in another department not thinking I had a hope in hell and amazingly I was successful . I love the job and it’s exactly ‘me’ . There is a mix of ages in my new division and I am not the oldest . I wish I’d got this job years ago and have even offered to go back to 5 days a week if they need me to so I would say - never give up trying .

williamsgwynfa Wed 29-Apr-20 20:18:44

I have found that there are opportunities for the older workforce in our area especially in the supermarkets.

Holidaygirl12 Wed 29-Apr-20 17:54:37

I feel that over 50s have a wealth of both work and life experience to contribute to the workplace. They should be valued and not cast aside.

Chezabella Wed 29-Apr-20 16:09:23

I've often wondered if my very first job was illegal! I helped out in my Mum & Dad's shop from being about 11 years old. To be honest, I hated it- I was very shy and really disliked having to smile and be 'nice' to people, especially those who for no other reason than my childish ignorance, I didn't like.

Over the years I did various jobs including retail and later spent 25 years in a customer facing position with a local council before taking taking voluntary early retirement in the austerity cutbacks aged 56. I was lucky enough to get a part time job straight away with an NHS community team where I have worked for the last 7 years. I found it very stressful and difficult at first. There were so many new systems and processes to learn and potentially a lot of responsibility. Added to that I was one of the oldest team members. I think the team thought I'd been in the job for a long time but just wasn't very competent!

A few years down the line, I surprise myself that I can do the job well. I felt proud recently when a manager said I was always very diligent. I enjoy meeting and helping new team members and our clients. I feel valued by my lovely colleagues and though I am definitely now the oldest team member, that does not make a difference. We're all working towards the same goals. I don't know if it was part of my parent's plan but that childhood experience of having to smile and get on with it in their shop was probably the making of me!

50socks Wed 29-Apr-20 15:41:41

i am 62, struggling with ill health, i have reduced my hours but i am on a warning from work and cannot exceed more than 8 days sick until August 2nd, at present home again with another chest infection and it looks likely i will have to leave the job i adore

bdavies Wed 29-Apr-20 15:09:49

I have worked almost constantly since I was 15. I am now 68. I have been furloughed for past month and am quite enjoying not being part of the daily grind even during lockdown. Am planning to reduce my hours (if company survives lockdown) to 3 days/week in January just after my 69th birthday.

belo Wed 29-Apr-20 13:58:04

I'm 49 - almost 50. I no longer have young kids to worry about. I'm now in a position in my life when I feel I'm ready for a career challenge. I've got over 15 years of working life ahead of me. The company I work for have been great - they have recognised that I'm ambitious and can be more dedicated then I was when I was in my 30s. I've been put on training courses and been encouraged to go for a new role. I feel blessed to be working for such a company and that my energy and enthusiasm has been recognised.

dragonfly63 Wed 29-Apr-20 13:48:11

We started our own business in our fifties moving from Birmingham to Wales so don’t really know what the situation is.

zulianilord Wed 29-Apr-20 13:32:45

After being made redundant just before my 60th birthday and still having over 4 years until receiving state pension I started looking for work. The local job centre was the place that told me not to put my age on any application forms as it would put potential employers off. I found a couple of staff agencies managed by much younger people very patronising. I finally got a job in a large company who never asked my age and my colleagues didn't know it until I finally retired at 65. I worked with a young team and had a ball. There were no career prospects in the job which suited me but there was a high turnover in young members of the team who were seeking a career. The company valued my maturity and loyalty and were sorry to see me go.