Losing your job later in life can be particularly devastating and once unemployed, older workers generally take longer to find work than their younger counterparts and the average duration of unemployment for those age 55 and older was 42 weeks, which is more than nine weeks longer than the average younger person was out of work.
Older workers who are currently employed must take steps to insulate themselves from job loss, many already seem to be doing this and the unemployment rate for those age 55 and older was 7.2 percent, compared with 9.6 percent among the population as a whole, so here are some tips to help you hold on to your job as you approach retirement.
Keep track of your profitability, an employer is unlikely to lay off someone who consistently makes or saves money for the company, keep a list of your work achievements on your home computer, including a record of how you contributed to the company's bottom line, any recognition you have received for doing so, and compliments received from customers or clients.
Learn new skills, taking advantage of any workplace training or tuition reimbursement that your employer offers can demonstrate your ability and willingness to keep up with your employer's changing demands, getting a book and learning skills applicable to your job on your own or with a coworker can also be helpful.
Be a problem solver, become known in your office as the person people go to for help or for information about specific problems, keep your boss and coworkers updated with occasional progress reports through E-mail or on an internal company blog, in that way, when company downsizing comes up, your contributions, energy, and enthusiasm are clearly documented.
Pass your knowledge on to others, one of the biggest assets that tenured older workers have is their institutional knowledge of the company and the career field, be sure to highlight recent successes in addition to your experience and also, consider offering to pass along your accumulated knowledge and connections to younger employees.
Take on new projects, make it clear to your boss that you plan to continue to work and are not planning to retire in the near term, come up with ideas for projects that you are interested in working on that could create additional income streams for the company, it would be difficult to force you out when you are actively involved in a variety of essential roles.
Build an online presence, looking someone up online is becoming standard procedure, creating a profile on social networking sites or setting up a personal website can help offset fears that older workers are uncomfortable with technology.