“Should I apply for a job at half the salary I once earned given I”m almost 60 and the options are slim?”

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Here's a question I received through quora.   I want to read the full question..

"Should apply for job at half the salary I once earned, given that I'm almost 60 and the options are slim?"

We don't know what this person does professionally;  we just know that they don't have choices.

So I get a look at a few scenarios.  You make $150,000 per year And want to look at a job paying $75,000 per year.  You are a $200,000 a year person  looking at a job paying $100,000 per year.  You are a $100,000 a year person looking at a job paying  50.

Here's the reality to it.  In most of these scenarios, you're not qualified to do the job  at a lower level, nor firm is going to hire you because they are not going to trust whether or not  you are going to jump ship when the market for what you do gets better.

I want to help you and, I have said this in videos that I've done, if you are not getting interviews, the problem is your resume.  If you are getting interviews and not invited back, the problem is you don't interview as well as you think you do.  If you are being invited back for 2nd interviews but not getting job offers, you don't have good relationship skills with senior professionals.  Lastly,  if the situation  is that you are getting offers are coming in  lower than what you wanted, you may not be the 1st choice and they are basically saying, "Screw it.  Let's give him a shot and see if he will come in at a lesser price."

It's easy to blame the market Again, we don't know what you do..  Perhaps, you don't have skills that are particularly viable. After all, you may be a $50,000 a year person looking at jobs paying $25,000 per year. That's possible, for example, in social work where you may be a manager at an agency, and are now looking at positions as a caseworker.  You can do that.  You will probably need some refresher because you have been doing oversight for people and haven't been sitting opposite someone Doing case management for a long time.

Recognize that, as a more experienced person, you may no longer have the qualifications  to do the staff level position and you are going to need to be proactive to get the skills up to speed in order to be effective.

So, again, you can do it, but it is not likely to work.

You also say that the opportunities are relatively slim..  I am going to work with another assumption here.

You are passively bringing age discrimination into the conversation and you are using that as the excuse for why you are not getting hired.   It is certainly possible, but, more than likely,, you are not selling yourself real well when you are meeting with the younger manager, either male or female. You are looking across the desk and thinking, "Shit!  They are 30 years old.  They are not going to be interested in me." That's going on in your subconscious and, unfortunately, that's a mistake. There are ways to deal with that issue  but you are not going  into the interview "all in."

That's what you need to be.  All in in these situations.

Hear me out.  Try it.   Go all in.  Push yourself. Don't cop to the belief that it's 60 you're not employable.  I speak from the perspective of  being older than you are and  have worked in search for more than 40 years.  People  would hire me in a heartbeat because they know how talented and successful I am. On an interview, you have to make sure they learn how talented you are.

So get out there  and raise some cane on your interviews and don't use excuses.

Now there was one other phrase that you used – – "options are slim."

You may only be looking on job boards.   When you only look at job boards, there are a finite number of jobs.  You are not out there doing network.  You are staring at the same things coming up over and over again  and saying to yourself, "the options are slim."

In fact, job boards fill, depending upon the statistics you look at, 3 to 6% of all positions..  Recruiters fill another 20 to 25%..  Between the 2, they fill between 30 and 32% of all positions.  The rest are filled by networking.   Of those, approximately 70%, The statistics also say 70% of the 70%  are filled as a result of introductions to people That you didn't know at the beginning of the job search.

You have to go network. You need to talk to people and be referred  to absolute strangers and practice doing informational interviews and practice networking. Get out there.  No excuses.  Don't surrendering to this,, "oh woe is me,," attitude that is implicit in your question. Get hungry again.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of No BS Job Search Advice  and Job Search Radio” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.

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