Seven tips on working until 70

The 2014 Federal Budget outlined a strategy to raise the eligibility for the age pension from 65 to 70 by 2035.

09 May 2018

The 2014 Federal Budget outlined a strategy to raise the eligibility for the age pension from 65 to 70 by 2035.

This plus the damage done to retirement savings by the GFC and the fact that we now have to fund 20–30 years in retirement, all mean that it’s going to be the norm for many of us to work longer. If that’s to be the case, then it makes sense to look at what older workers need to be competitive.

Finding a satisfying full or part-time job might not be all that easy. Mature age workers face these four main challenges in the workplace – their skills (or lack of), their health, age discrimination and a lack of quality jobs for over 50s. However the situation is starting to improve.

A number of recent surveys of employers found that mature workers are seen as having experience, knowledge, wisdom and a strong work ethic. This, plus the need for more skilled labour in the workforce, indicates that these negative barriers should start to weaken.

Here are some tips to improve your chances of getting a job:

If you need some training, do a suitable course. If your computer skills aren’t up to scratch, or your skills in your preferred industry need updating, find a suitable course and do it. There is lots of government support for these courses, so the cost should be modest. This training will make you more employable and show that you are serious about finding work.

Get a modern resume. An updated version of a resume you’ve had for 20 years isn’t good enough. Your resume should be fresh, sharp, short and relevant. There are plenty of organisations who can help you to prepare a competitive, relevant resume. Some may be subsidised, so this process should not be expensive.

Stress the benefits of mature workers. It’s generally accepted that mature workers are reliable, loyal, don’t change jobs every year and turn up to work on Mondays. Promote these benefits in your applications and in interviews.

Build your network and networking skills. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So work at expanding your network and let it be known that you’re looking for a good job.

Volunteering can lead to a paying job. Try to get a volunteering job that is relevant to the industry you want to work in. Improve your skills and then start networking.

Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. Your overall experience should enable you to apply your knowledge and skills to other areas that you haven’t worked in. Give it a go if there’s an opportunity.

Look after your health. Your health is vitally important if you are going to keep working in your late 60s. If you’re not already doing it, work at getting fit and healthy. You‘ll need good physical and mental health to be a valued and productive worker in the years ahead. It’s never too late to start getting healthy. Baby Boomers Life change has published a book How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement that offers lots of valuable information. It’s written by 15 leading health experts and you can order a copy on their website at 

'This article originally appeared on the My Life Change website and has been reproduced with permission from Paul McKeon of Baby Boomers Life Change Pty Ltd'

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