Over 40s looking for new accounting & finance jobs may be faced with some barriers, so here are just a few things to consider when job searching to help get by and overcome these issues.
Do not stay out of accounting employment for too long
If you have been laid off or you have decided to move jobs to reduce your hours, then if possible try to jump straight into another job or at least do not hang around for too long unemployed. This will make your life a lot more difficult when applying for any new job in accounting.
Keep your skills current
It is important that your accountancy skills do not become outdated and are up to date with those required in the present day. You may also need to keep up to date with the current computing skills as technology and computers are increasingly being used in every business. By keeping on top of your own personal development, you will be a more attractive option when applying to new accounting jobs.
By networking and keeping in touch with people you have worked with and met over the years, you may be able to contact them to find out if they know of any opportunities around. As you age, you meet more people and your network grows. So, you can really use this developed set of connections to your advantage at this stage of your career. When possible, get even more involved in networking opportunities to meet more people.
Pick accounting companies strategically
Some companies are well known for recruiting graduates so to avoid a battle and something that may be unachievable, target those companies who are more inclined to recruit the older generation or have a diverse set of employees already. It will make your job easier and heighten the chances of being accepted.
Consider accounting temp jobs
You can always register with accounting employment agencies and ask them to help you find a new role. They may be able to help place you in accounting temp roles to generate some money short term before finding you a more secure longer-term placement.
Consider not taking pension and benefits
When applying to a job, you may be able to negotiate not receiving a pension but just a salary. You may already have a pension from your old company and so may not necessarily need this benefit. A company may jump at the chance of this, as you are ultimately a cheaper alternative. You may want to also consider other options to negotiate your position in the company e.g. flexitime, part-time or telecommuting.
If you are not having luck finding a new accounting job, you feel you are being discriminated against and you want to find out if the company is acting illegally or not, speak to a lawyer or contact one of the organisations set up to help older workers e.g. Age Positive. They will help you work out what you can do in the situation you are faced with.