It’s easy to let inner uncertainties stand in the way of a new direction in your life, especially if you’ve gone past the ‘middle’ point, Truth be told, though, age can actually work to your advantage. For example:
*The older you get, the more you qualify for special pricing and discounts. Food items are at the top of this list: free coffee at McDonald’s, early bird senior meals, free doughnuts and coffee at some restaurants, special coupons, discounts at buffets…I could go on and on. The usual starting point is 50 for these treats; some ask for 55 or 60.
*It’s not just food, either. Cruises, movie tickets, concerts, admission to museums, even college classes, some stores and thrift shops…these all have special pricing for seniors. If you don’t take advantage, you’re just plain wasting money.
*Then there are the AARP discounts, on everything from insurance to hotels. Find out more at the American Association of Retired People website. Membership is $16 yearly for people 50 and older; the current special gives your partner a free membership when you sign up.
*You have items on your resume that a younger person can’t add yet. It takes time to learn a language, finish a degree, and become a manager. You’ve had the time to try more than one career, as well; your resume should reflect that versatility. (List work, degrees and other experience, then plan on expanding that information when you interview.)
*You don’t always need to be trained extensively, to pick up the job quickly. It’s called experience — and you’ve already earned it. Not only that, but…
*You can be more reliable, and handle stress better. A growing number of employers are appreciating older workers for just this reason. After 18 years as a real estate agent, Gisela Ashley went back to school for her Master’s degree — and a new career. She says:
“I actually interned for someone who said she had two bad experiences with previous interns who were in their 20s. She said that I renewed her faith in interns and said she appreciated my maturity and felt she could trust me. With the younger interns, she said she felt she had to watch them all the time.” (Ashley felt that two internships, plus not discussing her age, in case someone did practice age discrimination, were also helpful.)
*Gray hair is earth-friendly — and sexy in its own way. Not to mention powerful; many of today’s older actresses, like Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, are letting their hair go natural, with striking results. Check out Woman’s Day magazine’s list of 10 benefits for having gray hair. Author Maggie Crane wrote, ” Allowing my silver hair to grow out was one of the most liberating experiences of my life…”
Robert Browning was right when he wrote,
“Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be.”
It’s just a matter of attitude, experience and looking at possibilities in a new light.
Getting older: getting better.