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Finding work at 50 plus

Older women holding a meeting

If you are over 50 and find yourself out of work, facing redundancy or thinking about changing jobs, it may seem daunting. Perhaps it’s years since you wrote a CV, or you need to think about using your skills and experience in a different type of role. Whatever your situation, here are some helpful tips to get started…

Take a mid-life MOT

If you are considering a change in career or want to understand your finances, the mid-life MOT is available as an online signposting package to help you plan for important changes.

It can act as a useful stock take to help you think about your job, your finances and your health. The work and skills section of the mid-life MOT on the Your Pension website can signpost you to the support you need to return to employment.

Develop your skills

If you’ve been looking for work for a while, have been recently made redundant, or are thinking of changing your career, the gov.uk website has some useful information ranging from developing your skills, flexible working and self-employment.

Developing your skills is a great way to build self confidence. Confidence will help you from the CV stage right through to the interview and beyond.

To get started, give your skills a health check and commit an Hour to Skill.

Think about refreshing your skills or areas you’d like to develop in, The Skills Toolkit website has free, high quality digital and numeracy courses from a range of providers such as Google Digital Garage, Lloyds Bank Academy and Open University.

If you’d like to try something new, it’s worth considering an apprenticeship, these are open to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Remember to update your CV with your new skills, training and experience. Then make sure your covering letter gives you the best chance of securing that interview.

Why not watch this video which gives tips on preparing your CV.

You could visit Unlock a better way ahead – Skills for Life (campaign.gov.uk) where you’ll find training support and advice to gain the skills you need for the job you want.

Consider your options for new work

Get started with your job search by using the Find a Job website. We have also put together a useful list of job sites.

Many employers offer flexible working which includes job sharing and part time work. They may also offer the opportunity to work remotely. If this is something you are looking to do please visit Flexible and part-time work – JobHelp (campaign.gov.uk) where you will find lots of useful information.

If you are currently claiming benefits, then your Work Coach can offer you a range of tailored advice and support, as part of 50 PLUS : Choices.

That might include, if you’re eligible:

Extra Support

There is also extra help available to you if you have a health condition or disability.

If you need financial support whilst looking for a job, find out what benefits you could be entitled to.

Returning to Work

If you’ve had a period away from work and are thinking of returning to the workforce, this toolkit from the Government Equalities Office can provide extra support to help you on your journey and information on next steps to take.

Support for Carers

If you are a carer or former carer, you could be eligible for personal support. You may get help with getting in touch with employers for example or, matching your skills to current vacancies or help with training to find you work.  Please find out more at Work and Health Programme – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Menopause and the workplace

Women over the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the workforce, they may go through the menopause transition during their working lives. We have a range of guidance out there for both employers and individuals to help support conversations in the workplace, including the recent Menopause and Employment report commissioned by the Minister for Employment at DWP

You will also find further useful information from the following organisations:

Aviva: A guide to the menopause

ACAS: menopause at work

NHS: Menopause overview


Rest Less has thousands of jobs available nationwide from age diverse employers and is the largest jobs board specifically for the over 50s. Visit the Rest Less website for more details.

Finally, if you’re finding your job search a challenge, the Age UK website offers some excellent resources to help you with problems over discrimination and your rights, along with information to help you find a new job or retrain and tips on improving your tech knowledge.

Think about voluntary work

Working into your fifties and sixties and, if you wish, after State Pension age can help support your finances, health and social well-being into later life.

Voluntary work can be a great way to help you get new skills and build confidence in a different field of work. Find out what voluntary work is on offer on the gov.uk website or contact your local volunteer centre on the NVCO website.

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