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resilience - keep on going


Keeping resilient when you’re over 50 and job hunting

















You’re over 50, job hunting and can’t find a job. You feel about as resilient as last year’s blow up mattress: however hard you try you feel deflated.

It was ok to begin with, you felt enthusiastic for a new beginning.  But now, a couple of months down the road, you’ve noticed yourself slipping into the misery of feeling useless.  You want to break out of the vicious circle of daily apathy followed by self-loathing, but it’s just so hard to keep going.

Just how do you keep resilient when you’re over 50 and job hunting?  Here are 10 ways to keep you resilient.

1. The Delphic Audit:  know your over 50s self

Take a look at your current state of mind.  Are you feeling angry blaming the universe for your ‘bad luck’?  Or maybe you’re fearful about the uncertain future? Will you ever find employment again?  Just because you’ve read a grand old age of at least over 50 doesn’t exempt you from worry and uncertainty.

All that anger and worrying has a greater physical effect on you than on younger folk:  it’s a big stressor, so first take the time to calm that stress down.  Try meditation, yoga, mindfulness, gratitude.  (If you hadn’t learned how to do any of those before, it’s a good time to get going on practices that make life easier as you age)

2. Align your search with your values

Resilience is helped by pursuing something that you care about. Dig deep into your values and ask what is important for you?  Did you feel uncomfortable in your career to date?  Your values may have changed since you started out on your career and as you’ve aged.  

Even if it sounds corny to you, list the values your experience has brought you and hunt down opportunities which reflect your values now rather than the ones when you were so much younger. 

3. Financial control can help keep you grounded

Not knowing when you will get back to work can increase the stress. It can be a hard call for over 50s with so many financial commitments to make. Taking control gives you confidence and relieves the stress so you can focus on the job search.

What actions could you take to feel in control and relieve your financial pressures?   For example: can you cut back your expenses?  If you’re now an empty nester, can you rent out a room in your house?  Is it worth asking your bank for a moratorium on your mortgage or other repayments?

4. Reach out and speak to people

Over 50s were raised to keep quiet about problems and to be self-sufficient, but times have changed and you need to change too.  Start talking to people you know who may also be looking for work.  You may find that they are feeling the same and that together you feel stronger to make action plans.

5.  What do you (an older person) have to offer that elusive employer?

Think about what you can offer an employer. Ask your friends and colleagues what they think you do best.  Make a list of your skills both hard and soft skills:  older people tend to have far more people skills. 

Write down your stories of obstacles you overcame, problems you solved, cost reductions you successfully implemented, demonstrating skills you could bring to your new job.  Use the examples in your job interview and CV.

Reflecting on your successes can help you recognise your value and increase your resilience to rejection.

6. Is your routine supporting your job hunt effectively?

Job hunting is hard work, so don’t sleep in, work at it like a job. You’re not a newbie, so you’re used to the work routine.  This is just a different one.  Set up a timetable for:

  • organising yourself:

  • scouring the papers and the internet for jobs and applying for them;

  • working on new skills;

  • exercise;

  • eating proper meals; and 

  • networking. 

Make a rule that TV can only be switched on when you’ve done your day’s tasks. 

It’s easy for over 50s to slip into depression and apathy, because job hunting is harder as you age.  Set yourself daily targets and you’ll feel so much better and more inclined to keep going.

7. Exercise your way into the bounciest of job-hunting resilience

Maybe you can’t afford the fancy gym any more, but you can still exercise.  Age is no bar to walking, doing chair exercises or learning to dance.  Try finding a local walking group you can join.

Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel more cheerful and the social interaction releases serotonin.  You’ll feel happier and more enthusiastic.  Enthusiasm marks out a younger mindset and that’s vital to your job hunting success!


8. Keep yourself busy with new skills

Just because you’re looking for a job doesn’t mean you can’t learn something also.  Check whether your skills are up to date.  Pursue the job adverts for jobs advertised in your area.  Then identify what skills you may be missing and do a course on it.  There are many free online courses.  

Learning a new skill and completing a course will give you a sense of achievement which will boost your resilience until you achieve that new job.

9. Keeping your glass half full: the value of a positive mindset for over 50s resilience





It takes courage to keep going when everyone knows the odds are stacked against older workers.   Watch your thoughts for negativity and practise replacing them with positive thoughts. Increase your positivity by focusing what’s going right for you. 

Start the habit of taking pleasure and gratitude in the small things in life.  Smell those roses! Enjoy the weather, the time to declutter, doing something new and different. This can boost your feelings of positivity.

10. Exercising your resilience for over 50s job-hunting success

You are not alone in the world of job hunting over 50.  Everybody is feeling fear about the future.  

Resilience is a mindset and a habit and both need practice.  It’s even more necessary when you’re part of the older generation.  So, practise visualising your job dreams coming true and look for jobs that align with your values. 

Keep your mind and your body active and keep them in harmony.  Keep talking to people, asking for help and giving it too.  There are no guarantees, but resilience will help you even if you are over 50 and the job hunt is long and fraught with setbacks. 

Take steps towards buoying up your resilience and it won’t just be your job-hunting that will be easier. Success in other area of life helps you to success in the difficult areas.  Here’s to your successful over 50s Job Hunting.

About the Author

Rosemary Bointon is a certified content writer.  On her blog,, she helps older people work out what to

do now to live longer, in better health with more fun and


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