Peter Osborne has started a very interesting discussion on this topic on our linkedin portfolio careers group. He also has a fuller posting in which he discusses these 8 ‘lessons’ that he has learned. I was particularly interested as a couple of weeks ago I did a keynote speech specifically on portfolio careers for the over 50’s and in 2 days time I am doing another one for 200 accountants aged over 50 and who wish to explore portfolio careers as a possible career pattern. One of the items that I discuss concerns what you need to do to market yourself when you are over 50.
Marketing your brand when you are over 50
- I make the point that the advantage of being a mature worker is that you bring a lot of stability, experience, presence, knowledge and wisdom to the table. Personal branding is key these days. It’s what makes you stand out from the crowd. Make sure you get noticed for all the right reasons.
- It is crucial that you are clear on your motivated skills, your values and your passions. That applies to any age but is especially important here as you will be more time limited. Sorry to sound depressing!
- Again – relevant to any age- but especially here because of potential age stereotyping. You really need to focus on the the first impression you make? Appearance, voice, face. Decide what fits for your brand. And smile! It is likely to be reciprocated and the positive psychology researchers tell us that the physiological act of smiling is hard wired into our neural network so that you will also feel happier. Which means you will make a better impression. Especially as we know that rightly or wrongly people form these impressions within 30 seconds of meeting you. They will make assumptions about everything from your education and your wealth, your credibility and your success, your trustworthiness and your believability – even your sexuality and desirability.
- Create the marketing materials used to communicate to employers: business cards, a cv, cover letter, references document, web site, blog, or work portfolio. Google me is the new business card. Over 77% of employers will Google a job candidate; 35% of those candidates won’t get the job because the boss finds negative or explicit content on social media Web pages. Research your digital footprint. Try for something different. Katie and I both use a special bookmark designed to promote our book and containing the crucial contact information about us.
- You must understand and be familiar with new technology. Get your grandchildren to teach you! Exhibit how you stay on top of technology. For example, establish or update your LinkedIn profile or develop a web portfolio to show your ability to incorporate cutting-edge marketing tools and put the URL on your résumé.
- Talk about new things that you are enjoying learning about – as that is one of the other stereotypes about older people.
- Build a network before you need it. 70 percent of participating executives found their current positions by networking. Yet professionals tend to network only if and when looking for their next positions. 46 – 60 year olds spent three times as long networking as their younger colleagues. And before our Gen Y friends comment that this is simply because older people are slower that is not what the results show!
It would be interesting to get other tips for this age group. I will of course credit you if I put them into my talks!