Secretary Hilda Solis gives her Labor Day address (2010)


Are You Ready To Compete For A Job? Seven Tips

Ella Traver | ElderThink | 9.5.10


My friend Lou got a job as a receptionist. She works five days a week and she loves it. The job saved her from close to poverty. Lou is 78 years old (or young.) Here are some ideas to help you do what Lou did.


1. Take a stroll through the Mall and pay attention to clothing fashion and colors. You don't have to dress like a young person, but get current.


2. Grooming is critical. A fresh haircut, clean even nails, and daily removal of unwanted hairs. Go to a sunny window and look in a mirror. Older women grow fuzz and older men often forget a few hairs under the nose. Take care of that.


3. If you don't have an exercise program already, take a walk every day early as possible. I mean thirty minutes of walking. It will give you energy and a bright look.


4. Update your technical skills. Every Senior Center has computer classes. You need to really know how to use email, find files on a computer, and use a cell phone for both voice and text messaging.


5. Take a hard look at your resume. Remove any dates older than fifteen years and just describe the experience instead.


6. Make a list of things you know about and enjoy doing. When you talk to a prospective employer, this list will help you talk about the here and now. Avoid comments about yesteryear.


7. Be sincere, be your brand new updated self, and you will be successful.

Finding Work Is Challenging for Elders

(Revisited two years later)

Gretchen Heuring | ElderThink | 9.5.10


I wrote "Boomers and Matures Are In The Same Boat" nearly two years ago. Since then, the job market has collapsed for just about everyone. If we have a job, we're lucky.


Problem is, some elders are stuck extra because this sad economy has hurt our retirement savings. Some of us need to work to make ends meet. To illustrate my

lady at computer


A Practical Way To Start Working

ElderThinker | ElderThink | 9.6.10


A great way to begin when going back to work is to apply to temp agencies. Often employers will hire into a temporary position and then if they like you, they keep you permanently.


Most often, you can expect a series of temporary situations in different places. This is beneficial because it gives you a chance to experience different business cultures and get a good idea of how to fit in.


Its best to apply to more than one temp agency. Some agencies specialize in different kinds of work too so it's a good idea to ask or better still, research the agency on a computer to see if their focus might be medical personnel, for example.


Many of them test your skills, suggest appropriate dress, offer advice about interviews and give encouragement. All of these are certainly welcome when you are going back to work.


To get started, look in the Yellow Pages, or go to Google and type in "temp agencies" and the name of your town.


point, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly three and a half million Americans between the ages of sixty-five and seventy are employed. In fact more of us are working now than from our age group in 2008, suggesting that thousands of us have gone back to work. Just goes to tell you that we know how to get work when we need to.


In addition to that, another three million Americans over the age of 70 are working for pay. This means that all together more than six million bosses think people with grey (or white) hair have something to offer.


Hilda Solis, the Secretary of Labor gave her annual address in preparation for Labor Day. She said she believes that Americans looking for work don't want special treatment or handouts. She thinks we do want a level playing field, clear rules, an opportunity to work hard, and a fair chance to provide for our families and get ahead. I think she's got it spot on.


Do we have competition? Certainly! Eager young folks are looking for work too. they have youthful energy, no wrinkles, and often have technology down cold.


So what's a body to do? Well, my pal Ella has written some useful tips over in the column to the right. She always has the best advice so pay attention. I'm sure if you really want to you can give those young whippersnappers a run for the money.