Home

1 (800) 363-1207

Ivy Exec Spotlight: Advice to A 50-Year Old Jobseeker

Reader question: I am a 50-year old jobseeker and the idea of launching a job search after 25 years in one company is paralyzing me. How bad are my chances given my age and what can I do?

Even if you are not in this exact circumstance, I have heard other preconceived fears that paralyze job searches – my school isn’t a top 10, my major wasn’t business-related, my experience isn’t analytical enough, there is a glass ceiling for women anyway. The subtext is, “Why bother trying?”

When fear inhibits action, it is not helpful. However, it is not feasible or even desirable just to ignore it. In fact, fear can be quite useful. It sends a signal that something needs attention. There is age discrimination out there. Sometimes companies prefer candidates with experience at various companies. A regional school, unrelated major, lack of analytical experience, and, yes, gender discrimination may also affect a search. Therefore, rather than dismiss a fear outright, a proactive candidate anticipates possible outcomes and develops strategic responses to combat these.

If a company is going to discriminate by age or school or major or gender, they can do this easily via the resume. Knowing this, a candidate who fears having a red flag should spend more time and energy getting to know decision-makers directly. Take the resume out of the picture. Relying on someone to read your resume and select you (even if your credentials are outstanding) cedes control of your search to whoever happens to see your resume. Network and make your pitch. Craft a compelling letter of inquiry that entices an employer to want to meet you. Conduct an informational interview with intelligent, business-savvy questions that show employers that you know their industry and their company and therefore you deserve to be their colleague.

By taking action around your fear, you move past the paralysis and empower yourself to be responsible for your search and your career. An empowered candidate is confident, and confidence attracts. In a down market, a candidate with a positive, can-do spirit is especially appealing. You may not even encounter resistance around the fears that you have, and you may never know whether what you feared was ever an issue. But don’t just try to ignore it or convince yourself not to care. You fear what you fear, so use your fear to make yourself a better candidate.

Article by Caroline Ceniza-Levine orginally posted here.

About Ivy Exec

This article was inspired by the Ivy Exec Blog. Ivy Exec is a career resource partner of AESC/BlueSteps - a highly selective, invitation-only career site founded by a team of Columbia MBAs to address the unique career needs of top executives. Ivy Exec is a trusted recruiting tool used by companies such as JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte, Google, Prada, and other upper echelon firms looking to hire high-calibre executives.

Ivy Exec has agreed to provide the AESC and BlueSteps community complimentary All-Access membership should you be approved to join. As an All-Access member, you will have access to over 17,000 international job listings, industry intelligence reports, and the option to build a profile searchable by over 600 leading companies.  

The Ultimate Executive Career Guide: Advanced Job Search

As a senior-level executive, you can use this guide to:

- Manage your career while currently employed
- Decide when to make a career transition
- Create a job search strategy
- Set up your job search routine
- Learn where to find executive-level jobs
- And more!

Download Now!

About the author

BlueSteps's picture

About BlueSteps

BlueSteps optimizes your visibility to top executive search firms and positions you for the best executive jobs.


As a member of BlueSteps, your career details will be confidentially provided to hundreds of the world’s leading retained executive search firms, all vetted members of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants in over 75 countries.  Benefits include:

  • Confidential, lifetime career profile searchable by over 9,000 AESC member executive search consultants
  • Access to hundreds of executive jobs for which search firms are actively recruiting
  • Exclusive International directory that allows you to network with a targeted list of recruiters
  • Complimentary career review with expert advisors
  • Helpful podcasts and exclusive articles on a wide range of executive career-level topics

Click here to become a member today >>

Other posts by this author

Share your thoughts

Stay Connected