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Career Last Updated: Jul 3, 2016 - 6:35:29 PM

My Experience, My Mistakes - Job Hunting for Middle Aged Women
By Career Writer
Jan 1, 2010 - 11:08:50 PM

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You may be looking for a job right now because you lost your job, your spouse lost his job, you need to supplement your income because your family business has slowed down, or you just want to start working after having raised the kids.

Whatever the reason, job hunting for the middle aged woman has its own challenges.  The toughest challeng is overcoming any negative mindset you may have or potential employers may have about hiring a middle aged person.

All I can say to this is do not waste any time worrying about this.  If you want to focus on your age, focus on the positive aspects.  What are the positive aspects.  Well there are many:

1.  Your experience - you have seen a lot and dealt with a lot.  Unless you have lived in a shell, you have dealt with many personalities, held different roles whether they were volunteer roles, jobs, on boards, or just raising kids.  These are real experiences.

2.  Your stage in life - whether you like it or not, what is most important to us at certain stages in our lives is pretty common.  When we are young, we are go getters, very inward focused.  As we get older, we start to look outward.  We really want to make difference...not for ourselves, but just too make a difference.  This is intrinsic motivation.

3.  You have made mistakes - Mistakes are sometimes the best teachers.  It is a sign that we are pushing ourselves to grow.  If we get up when we make mistakes, it shows we are humble enough to admit our mistakes and move on.

4.  Your experience - I know we said this already.  Don't take this for granted.  Life is not a theoretical exercise for us.  We have seen the real deal and we handled it. 

So, don't focus on the negative aspects.  Remind yourself of the positive and then work smart and hard, and forget about your age.  Wisdom is priceless and can only be learned through experience and mistakes.  If the interviewer is young and cocky, maybe they won't see that, but in the end it is the truth so don't give up.

Take a moment.  Get a sheet of paper and write down three lists.  First, all experiences you have...jobs, coaching, boards, clubs even scout leader or library mom and then write down three things you learned from each role and what you did that made a difference.  Yes three things. Stretch your mind.

Then make a list of all the mistakes you have made and what you learned from these mistakes.  And finally, write down what difference do you want to make in the world.

Really do this.  After you are done, read your work and just think about all of it.  As you interview, be confident in your experiences.  Let your experience resonate in the stories you tell.  Be passionate and let who you are shine through.  I think you will find you will be more authentic and will perhaps focus on jobs you really want even if it is not the first one you land.

Do this often.  Stop watching all that garbage TV about everyone else's problems and spend time on productive, energizing use of your mind.

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