The business we own tanks.
Or we just need more income.
At that point, we Baby Boomers hunt for a survival job. That usually pays a bit above minimum wage.
Some of them can prove to be a stepping stone for a new career path. For example, we are hired into a call center. There is rapid turnover. And soon enough we are a supervisor there. Then they invite us to take a position in the company's headquarters.
But the challenge for us Baby Boomers is to handle the interview for the kind of work which might not demand the education and sophisticated skills we have.
Here are some tips:
- Don't overdress. That includes wearing too much jewelry. The point is that you don't want to come across as more financially successful than those doing the hiring.
- Stick to answering the questions. It will probably be off-putting for you to start talking on a macro or abstract level about the job.
- Forget asking about the upward mobility on that job. They are hiring you to do only that job. If they assume you really want something better they figure you will soon quit. So, of course, they won't hire you.
- If they ask if you have any questions, figure out what would be appropriate. For example, lots of workers in survival jobs are eager for overtime. So, that would be okay to ask.
- Seem enthusiastic. Lean in closely to catch the interviewer's every word.
The good news about this is that most of us make fast progress on the learning curve. We are experienced in hunting for jobs. So, we can connect the dots on why interviews went badly. For the next ones we will do better and better. Eventually we will receive an offer for a job.
During the past 14 years I have been offered four survival jobs. At the time they kept me centered when I was struggling to figure out the next move in my own business.
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