This recession is delivering some hard kicks. Hands up if you know or are related to someone who has previously held a senior level job but is now out of work and wondering where and when they will find that next role.

I am seeing a new phenomenon – a raft of well qualified and extremely able people in their late 40’s or 50’s who may never find permanent employed work again.

I know it is illegal to be ageist in Britain today but I have to say that many employers, however subconsciously, are acting as if they are. They may say they are recruiting for succession and they don’t want someone who they perceive will be gone in 5 years (The rational argument that many people move jobs after five years anyway will fall on deaf ears) Or they perceive people as overqualified, or are concerned that they may be used as a stop gap until the market improves and then the well qualified person will move on.

There is also the upwards push of eager (and cheaper) graduates banging at the doors and looking for their first break. Which we all agree they deserve.

My advice on this is contra-cyclical and is only my own opinion (but after working in the employment market for over twenty years it is an informed opinion)

In this day and age of computerised vacancies and job boards and mass mailed CVs I strongly suggest you take the opposite approach.

The one thing you have to do is get highly personal

You need to become a person rather than a CV or a candidate or applicant in the eyes of your future employer.

Who you know is more important than ever. Cultivate personal relationships, be out and be seen. If you are using agencies take the time to visit them personally

Call before you send your CV. Thank people for their time in meeting with you. Be of help. be flexible and make it easy for people to say yes to you. A short term contract or a temp to perm vacancy I really don’t think any opportunity should be overlooked.

Alternatively and to look on the bright side, maybe now is the time to move abroad/emigrate to Australia or downsize and look at an alternative career.

There are truly hundreds of options available- take some time and energy to think laterally and open up your mind and thought process – if we can help in any way please let us know.

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