AARP Eye Center
Today’s job market can be challenging for anyone, but for workers age 50 and older, finding a job, or remaining in the workforce past traditional retirement age, can pose unique challenges. Consider this formidable statistic: Nationally, jobseekers age 55 and up spend an average of 46 weeks looking for work, as compared to 34 weeks for younger jobseekers. That is nearly a year, on average, of unemployment. And the outlook for older workers in Connecticut -- the 7th “oldest” state in the nation – is no better.
AARP believes that one’s possibilities should never be limited by their age and that, in fact, age and experience can expand your possibilities, whether they be personal or professional. Here in Connecticut, AARP is working with the Governor and state lawmakers to help workers age 50+ and the long-term unemployed get back to work, including support for legislation that would help prevent employers from excluding the unemployed in advertised job postings. A prohibition against this practice is a good step toward reducing the barriers faced by job seekers in a difficult economy and highly competitive job market.
Whether it is about staying in the workforce or finding work when suddenly faced with unemployment, the issues of employment and financial security are front and center for AARP members and their families in Connecticut. AARP is dedicated to supporting older jobseekers through public policy changes like the one above, and through free resources to help individuals navigate career changes, regardless of their circumstances.
Below are some free or low-cost career and job-hunting resources that can help.
• Check out www.aarp.org/workresources for resources to help you start a business or use your experience to find a job you may like. The site offers expert information to help you update your resumé, expand your network, and enhance your interview skills. AARP’s job search tool, powered by Indeed.com, let’s you search thousands of job listings. Also, AARP’s Life Reimagined for Work, powered by LinkedIn, aims to help experienced professionals connect to more satisfying careers, and connects job seekers to companies that have signed a pledge stating they value experienced workers and are committed to hiring them.
• The Connecticut Department of Labor has a wealth of local information and job search tools, including: guidance and information on interviews, résumé development, and preparing for job/career fairs; an on-line database of nationally posted job openings; job fair listings and information on finding a career that is right for you, learning about occupations, searching for education and training, and searching for jobs and employers.
• American Job Centers (formerly CTWorks Career Centers) offer services to job seekers at no cost, in convenient locations throughout the state. Many of the Centers are affiliated with the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a federally funded program that matches low income older adults ages 55+ with jobs in the private or non-profit sector. For a list of Center locations and available services, visit www.ct.gov/dol.
• Job clubs and career workshops. The American Job Centers mentioned above also offer free workshops, many geared specifically for older job seekers. Topics vary by Center. For a complete list of workshops, click here. Also check with your local library to find out if it offers workshops or hosts job clubs. You may also check with local nonprofits or your place of worship.
• Employee assistance programs at work. If you’re currently employed, find out if you have access to an employee assistance program. It may offer career counseling or coaching.