Re-imagining Your Career Past 50

Surviving the Gig Economy

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Re-imagining Your Career Past 50

4 in 5 Baby Boomers expect to keep working rather than retire due to financial necessity

Older Workers, New Tricks
By 2024, nearly 25% of the US workforce is projected to be age 55 or over

Discrimination Nation
60% of workers over 45 say they have experienced or seen age discrimination in the workplace
Since 2013, IBM has forced more than 20,000 older employees* out of the workforce
*age 40+ in order to correct seniority mix

American workers who say they experienced age discrimination were:
19%: Not hired for a position they were qualified for
12%: Passed over for a promotion
8%: Laid off or fired for unclear reasons

How do you succeed in an age-obsessed corporate world?

“I believe that rather than waiting for an employer to ‘pick you’, you should ‘pick yourself’” – Jane Jackson, career management coach and author

Re-imagine Your Career

Gig Economics
49% of self-employed workers are Baby Boomers

Old Ways and New Waves

Freelance work most frequently done by older Americans:
Construction, repair, installation
Personal care services
Business or financial
Sales

Use of technology platforms to find gig or freelance work:
19%: Baby Boomers
35%: Gen Xers
48%: Millennials

Pursuit of Happiness

Older gig workers can utilize an extensive network ― rather than technology ― for success

Who enjoys the gig economy or freelance work?
75%: Baby Boomers
45%: Gen Xers
67%: Millennials
Older workers enjoy the gig economy more than any other generation
Why do they enjoy gig work more? It might be the ability to make connections with others during the later season in life

Grey-preneurs

“Grey-preneurs” are the increasing number of older workers starting their own businesses 一 What’s behind this rising phenomenon?

“Many baby boomers are not interested in retirement. They’re always interested in building something” 一 Sylvia DeWitt, administrator of the Iowa Entrepreneurs Coalition

Rising Numbers

57% of all small business owners are over 50 一 with many motivating factors for becoming an entrepreneur
43%: Ready to be their own boss
42%: Pursuing a passion
22%: Unhappy with their corporate position
15%: Laid off or outsourced

Is it easier for older Americans to start a business?

Advantages of Age:

Access to Funding
Younger entrepreneurs struggle to find startup capital
More assets and better credit make it easier for older workers to obtain loans
“Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They’re attached to people” – Ben Casnocha, entrepreneur and author of The Startup of You

A Vast Network
More time in an industry equals more contacts ― potential investors, clients, or advisors
Contacts are a built-in collection of knowledge upon which you can draw for reference or help

Business Experience
Younger entrepreneurs cannot draw on decades of life and career experience for reference and know-how
Investors are more likely to support those with proven business acumen

Tips on Working for Yourself

Conceptualize
What do you want out of your work? Do you want to own a business or would you rather freelance through established companies?

Research
Look into your chosen field or market ― what are your potential competitors doing? How can you make yourself stand out?

Make Your Mark
Create a website for your business or sign up for appropriate services such as Fiverr or TaskMonkey to make yourself visible to potential clients

Resources to Help

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Extensive national network that offers business workshops and pairs members with expert mentors

The U.S. Small Business Association
Offers free in-person and online counseling for small businesses ― with chapters located in all 50 states

Internal Revenue Services’ Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center
Comprehensive online guide to tax credits, claims, and filing for small business owners at every stage

Overcome Ageism

Not everyone can leave traditional employment for potentially greener pastures ― but there are ways to prevail over age discrimination no matter where you work

Market Yourself
Showcase your age as a good thing ㅡ emphasize your years of experience during interviews
Emphasize that you are willing to learn new things in addition to an already established skillset

Get Ahead
Keep yourself knowledgeable of current technology advances within your field
Utilize online courses or workplace training to stay up-to-date

Keep Notes
If patterns of age discrimination start to emerge, write down everything that could be used as proof
Use email to keep accurate timestamps of occurrences for your records

Speak Up
Lodge all complaints with your company’s Human Resources department
If problems persist, contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOCC)

Keeping your career alive after 50 can be a challenge ― what can you do to stay ahead of the curve?

Surviving the Gig Economy

Sources:
http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/Working%20Longer%202016/2016-05%20AP-NORC%20Working%20Longer_Report1.pdf
http://web.archive.org/web/20161201142326/http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/labor-force-projections-to-2024-1.htm
https://www.aarp.org/work/on-the-job/info-2017/age-discrimination-facts.html
https://features.propublica.org/ibm/ibm-age-discrimination-american-workers/
https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/jane-jackson/the-rise-of-the-greypreneur_a_21599993/
https://www.freshbooks.com/_themes/freshbooks/brand-assets/2018selfemploymentreport.pdf
https://www.prudential.com/media/managed/documents/rp/Gig-Workers-in-America_2018.pdf
https://medium.com/@chloerbrooks/10-unconventional-ways-to-find-freelance-gigs-5b6d71c28456
https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2017/08/30/why-older-workers-are-embracing-the-gig-economy/#25386a1a42ce
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinessdevelopmentcouncil/2018/05/01/the-constant-benefits-of-networking/#53483b23f633
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/294799
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244303
https://www.score.org/frequently-asked-questions-about-score
https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/what-we-do/mission
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryhannon/2012/12/23/how-to-fight-age-discrimination/#e053067233a9
https://www.aarp.org/work/on-the-job/info-2017/how-to-fight-age-discrimination.html