By Doug Freeman, Ideascape Inc.
Let’s talk “use by” dates. No, not the ones on your cereal or that questionable looking take-out leftover in the back of your fridge. I’m referring to the supposed use by date on you and your career as an age 50+ professional. By “professional,” I mean that you are skilled, knowledgeable and experienced in any type of career area.
If you’ve applied for jobs, I assure you that the job application algorithms or hiring/interviewing staffers have noted it. And, fair or not, they’ve quickly determined that your shelf-life, desirability or potential contribution to their work culture cuisine isn’t a good fit.
The job market for age 50+ workers is tough and likely won’t get any better in the near-term. Therefore, one of your best options to minimise this form of ageism may be to go into business for yourself.
Start by developing a simple business plan. It identifies elements such as the skills and knowledge you plan to offer via your services as well as your value proposition, niche market to start with, fee range, and marketing strategy. Of course, there’s more to starting a business but this is a good initial action plan.
Based on my more than 30 years of self-employment as a freelancer/contractor/startup co-owner, here are some key lessons learned to achieve success in this arena:
So, the point I’m making is that it’s critical to re-frame your work strategy as an entrepreneur. You are best used by any date when clients want their project completed on time, on budget, the highest quality, with someone they’d love to work with many more times. It’s a matter of you offering them the best by helping to make them the best.