Rethinking Your Approach To Networking For Your 50+ Job Search
January 18, 2022
by Erica Reckamp
50+ job seekers have most likely developed networks before, but trusted contacts may have retired, changed industries, or no longer influence hiring. So how do you build a more vibrant network?
1) Hone your target. Your career trajectory may have shifted.
- Do you want to lead?
- Are you pursuing a career pivot?
- Are you changing industries?
When networking, focus on transferrable skills you plan to use in your target role. For example, if you were a general manager and you’re now targeting an engineering role, discuss your engineering skills, not P&L.
2) Focus on the future. Instead of a career retrospective, focus on what you offer and how you can solve problems. Mentioning accomplishments as evidence you can help is fine. Launching into an origin story is too much.
3) Learn from your mentee. Ask lots of questions, challenge your assumptions, and find out about emerging trends.
- What new tech is valuable?
- What industry changes do you foresee in the next five years?
- What do you wish older pros in our industry would stop/start doing?
Accepting feedback from a younger mentee is a great way to proactively offset the concerns behind age discrimination.
4) Network down. Referrals can come from just about anywhere, regardless of their place on the org chart. Some internal employees also advocate for candidates, following up to make sure hiring authorities have seen submissions and putting in a good word based on personal interactions.
5) Embrace networking online. Connect, network, and generate leads by leveraging online networking tools like LinkedIn, Lunchclub, Meetup, or Meetingplace.io. You can gain visibility and discover valuable intel on hiring authorities, internal contacts, and target companies.
You CAN markedly improve your job search outcomes by updating your network and by reframing your networking conversations to focus on your current goals!
Return to Insights