Reimagine Your Professional Self: Making a Fresh Start in Today’s Marketplace
In today’s challenging economy, many older workers find that they must defer their retirement. Others who have already retired either must return to the workforce or simply choose to do so because they miss the interpersonal and intellectual engagement a job can bring. Still other experienced workers are shifting the focus of their careers to explore new fields or to pursue a lifelong dream.
Whatever path leads you to a job change or job search, having the right tools to successfully achieve your goals can make the process much easier. Recently, AARP launched a new interactive tool called Work Reimagined to serve as a gateway to the resources one needs to get the right job. Work Reimagined is based on the online social networking model. The new AARP website, located at www.workreimagined.org, uses the popular LinkedIn platform. By offering information on specific job opportunities, access to up-to-the-minute job search information and advice, Work Reimagined provides wonderful insights for experienced workers that can make the difference in today’s job market.
If you are not familiar with LinkedIn, this might be a good time to start exploring. There are more than 175 million worldwide users on LinkedIn and by joining the LinkedIn network, you can expand your reach of contacts by leaps and bounds.
The Work Reimagined website ( www.WorkReimagined.org) has three main components: 1) Job listings from Work Reimagined Pledge companies (employers who are hiring and value experienced workers) 2) Discussion Groups and 3) News. One of the main goals of Work Reimagined is to turn the word “experienced” into something very positive. Being engaged in the Work Reimagined community will help you stay connected with, and able to learn from, others who are developing their own ways to return to the job market.
“One of the unique elements of Work Reimagined is that we are actively recruiting firms who are not only hiring, but who see experienced workers in a favorable light,” says Jean Setzfand, Vice-President of Financial Security at AARP. “Companies on our site have pledged to value the skill set of the experienced worker.”
Through Work Reimagined, employers are actually signing a pledge that promotes their commitment to the value of experienced workers and nondiscriminatory hiring policies. If you want to see the companies that are hiring and that are making this commitment, you will find them on the site along with all the unique and helpful content Work Reimagined provides. These companies see the value in experienced workers and are open to implementing a work culture that supports a more mature work force.
“We are also very excited about our added resources on Work Reimagined for like-minded job seekers,” says Setzfand. “We have an editorial team working on content specifically developed for an experienced worker audience. Through our discussion groups, experienced workers will find it easier to reach out to others within their network who have a tie-in to a specific company. For the experienced worker, we want Work Reimagined to be a unique and valuable resource.”
If you are looking for a new job, it is a good idea to put together your resume and supporting materials, such as references and cover letters, early in the process. Remember to keep your resume current so that it highlights your experience and, more importantly, demonstrates how you can use that experience in the new job.
Another way to give yourself the best chance of a positive job search experience is to make sure your own social networking sites create a good impression. Experts agree that keeping a professional profile on any of the sites you frequent is always a good idea.
Finally, don’t overlook the importance of an interview. No one wants to be turned down for a good job because of a poor interview. Make sure you are well prepared and know details about the company in question. Go to their website. Find ways to match your skills with their mission. If you are called for an interview, make sure you practice your answers (try this with a friend or in front of a mirror) so they are clear and concise.
Having the right tools to successfully embark upon your job search can make a huge difference. We hope you find that Work Reimagined ( www.workreimagined.org) gives you the jumpstart to a new job that is just right for you.