ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Monday, February 08, 2016

Getting Older and Wanting to Work

Getting older is not a crime. Yet I hear so many career counselors parrot the words to deny your age, don’t put dates on your resume, dumb yourself down, and in other words pretend to be less than you really are.

I disagree.

It’s not about the numbers – it’s about the energy. Do you look like you are dying or do you look energized, full of vim and vigor and ready to do the job for which you are applying?

How you look, dress, act, behave all tell a great deal about you. When I talk with members of CSIX, (an all-volunteer group dedicated to helping those out of work) I note that many of the out-of-work members of the audience look and dress as though they’d given up completely. Depression gets in the way of energy. 

My advice: you need to re-energize yourself. Join a club. Exercise. Socialize. Get out of your rut and do something different. Stop sitting on the couch watching TV and bemoaning your fate and get out there and do something FUN.

Most of all, check out your personal grooming. Do you need to get a haircut, shave, trim your nails, need to wear decent clothes? All of these say a great deal about what you think of yourself – and therefore what others think of you.

Dress for Success
Do you remember that book? It was the one recommending that everyone look like clones of each other in the standard man-tailored grey suit. Women were to pretend to look like men. 

Well, when I suggest that you dress for success, that’s not what I mean. Others will suggest you dress “one step above” what others are wearing and some will say, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” These are both good ways to suggest you dress well, whether at work, or looking for work.

Don’t wear your old raggedy jeans when networking. Wear a pair of tailored slacks. Don’t wear a tee shirt, or hoodie, but wear a nice tailored blouse, shirt or sweater. AND, please don’t tell me that you are a “techie” and therefore that’s how everyone dresses.

As my mother would have said, “If everyone else is jumping off the roof, does that mean you have to do it too?”

Your job is to look your professional best – not your shlubby worst.


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