Are you an older skilled worker who has been through a couple of decades of cyclical job expansion and contraction? Then you should be able to gain a few pearls of wisdom from this article. We sometimes forget the benefits that older works bring to a potential (or existing) employer. You do not have to be in sales to leverage you strengths. So how about selling yourself?(Editor's Note)
1. You understand recessions: Older workers have seen hard times before -- the bursting of the 1990s tech bubble, recession in the early 1980s, the oil crisis of the mid-1970s -- and they understand that businesses have to adjust. Knowing, too, that expansions always follow, older workers can bring a steady perspective to a jumpy workplace.
2. You have a healthy fear of slowdowns: Sure, you've seen them before. Older workers' steadiness can be accompanied by a fair dose of worry: You know that downturns can last for long periods of time, and you've witnessed the obliteration of job security, so you know that you need to be increasingly ready and willing to do what it takes to keep your job.
3. You're willing to work part time: Older workers most crave flexibility, according to a RetirementJobs.com survey. Many want to spend more of their time doing things they enjoy -- traveling, perhaps, or playing with their grandkids -- and they're often willing to accept a part-time schedule or reduced hours. As employers increasingly cut back on hours, a willingness to be flexible can make a job seeker more attractive to a greater variety of companies.
4. You have real-life experience: Today, employers need workers who can hit the ground running, and older workers have more real-world, less theoretical experience, says John Challenger of Challenger Gray & Christmas. "They've been there before and seen more situations," Challenger says.
5. You want to be challenged: Forget resting on your laurels -- a Penn State study found that challenging work is the thing that older workers want most.
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