As a career coach working with older jobseekers, I hear the same things over and over. “I’m afraid that no one will hire me.” Or, “I’m afraid I can’t do that job.” Another favorite thing I hear is, “I’m afraid I’m too old to …
As a career coach working with older jobseekers, I hear the same things over and over. “I’m afraid that no one will hire me.” Or, “I’m afraid I can’t do that job.” Another favorite thing I hear is, “I’m afraid I’m too old to learn all these new things.” Fear is a worthless emotion unless you’re getting mugged by thugs or lions are chasing you. When it comes to looking for a job, fear is not your friend.
One woman who recently came into the BACK TO WORK 50+ program here at Bevill State was fearful. I listened to her concerns before asking, “If you can’t do the job do you think the boss will beat you unconscious with a stick?” She shook her head no. “Do you think he will send goons to burn your house and steal your crops?” “Probably not,” she managed to say with a half-smile. “Feed you to his dogs?” She finally smiled and said, “They’ll probably just say, I’m not a good fit for the job and let me go.” “Maybe,” I said, “but if he likes your attitude, he might put you with someone who knows the job better and let them coach you.”
I gave her a new mantra — “I am not afraid.”
The next day, she filled out the application for the position she was fretting about. The next afternoon my phone buzzed. When I looked at the text message, it was from the woman saying that she’d landed the job. She went on to say that I should preach that fear sermon to all the people coming through the program. I smiled when I finished reading the text and gave myself a “high 5.”
A good way to approach the fear problem is to do research on a job that interests you. Find out what skills are required and the things you’d be doing if you got the job. If your skills are rusty, then get some refresher training. Jobseekers who sign up for the free job coaching with the BTW 50+ program get free access to Lynda.com. This website is a training portal that provides thousands of videos that teaches how to use virtually any computer software. There are other non-computer courses on there too.
You can take any (or all) of them to learn new skills or brush up on old ones. They have exercise files so that you can practice each concept. If you signed up on your own, this training costs about $35 a month. This one feature makes getting involved in the BTW 50+ program a no-brainer.
Working to upgrade your skills gives you one less thing to fear. Repeat after me — FEAR IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.
Rick Watson is the Coordinator of BACK TO WORK 50+ at Bevill State Community College. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can register for a free workshop by calling 855-850-2525.