Category Archives: Job Search

Flexible Working for 50+ Individuals: 4 Things You Should Know

Last week, the Flexiworkforce team were lucky enough to attend the 50+ Show. We were unique in that while most of the other exhibitors were showcasing holidays and leisure and household products, we were encouraging attendees to consider supplementing their retirement income with flexible working.

Many of the attendees were confident in their skills and abilities, yet acknowledged that there is a distinct lack of support for older workers who are interested in opting for flexible working, either pre- or post- retirement.

Others were interested in the idea but feared that they would be rejected outright on the grounds of their age.

Overall, we were very impressed by the enthusiasm and energy of the people we spoke to, including their willingness to consider new, modern ways of working. Here are the top 4 things we learned.

The over 50s are a key driving force behind the rise of flexible working in the UK

While older workers may not always feel ahead of the next tech trend in the office, they are in fact championing a new working culture in the UK through working flexibly. ‘Flexible working’ can refer to any working pattern outwith the typical Monday to Friday 9 till 5 and can include part-time, shift work, working from home and job sharing.

On average, workers in their 60s reject the typical 35 hours for a much more manageable 24, offering both a secure income and time to socialise outside of work.

The over 50s want and  need flexible work, but have been largely cut off from it. Until now.

While flexible working can be seen as the solution for older workers wishing to stagger their retirement with further employment, finding quality job vacancies that can offer flexible hours can be difficult.  CEO and founder Tracey Eker sought to rectify this problem by launching Flexiworkforce.com as the only UK-wide job site dedicated to flexible jobs.

Flexible working can be an ideal solution for older workers who working but would like the chance to also enjoy their life a bit more. There are many long-term unemployed workers who have been out of the workforce because of a lack of adequate flexible working but employers are actually desperate for their skills. Through Flexiworkforce these two groups can reach each other!

Many feel a lack of support in coming back to the workforce.

The over 50s are an invaluable talent pool which remains sorely underutilised by western society. The societal problem of ageism means that older workers often have a hard time getting into jobs that they are deemed ‘overqualified’ for, others feel forced out of a job before they’re ready. While ageism remains a serious issue, there is very little data available to quantify the issue.

However, many enlightened employers are keen to hire individuals over the age of 50, such as the banking group Santander, who are keen that their staff reflect the diverse age-mix of their customers.

 Flexible working- a good balance:

In recent years there has been something of a mindshift in the way we view retirement. Many choose to reject a traditional retirement in favour of flexible employment, some choosing to never fully retire. As average life-expectancy continues to increase worldwide, the multi-generational workforce will become increasingly diverse, with older workers being highly sought after for their skills and experience.

Flexibility should be the goal for over fifties aiming to retain their independence, or perhaps even strike out on a new career path, without having to endure the taxing demands of a full-time career or conventional working hours.

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Top Jobs for Work-Life Balance-Revealed

Do you crave a flexible role that works around you? Find out the top flexible jobs of 2014

Work-life balance is an ongoing  21st century battle for employees and freelancers alike. Those who work full-time hours run the risk of sacrificing home life, free time and family commitments.

Often, employers do not fully understand the benefits that instilling a culture of flexible balance can have for their organisation, meaning that all too many workers continue to struggle with effectively balancing home life and their career.

Enlightened employers across diverse sectors are beginning to fully realise the advantages of a flexible, agile workforce, although some sectors are moving faster than others in this respect.. And with work-life balance being a top priority of the millennial generation (who make up 50% of the current workforce, it is arguable as to long employers can afford to ignore the call for flexible work schedules.

Here is a list of the jobs which currently rank top in the work-life balance :

1. Web Developer/App Designer

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Web developers and app/game designers often enjoy a relaxed working environment which frequently includes a flexible working schedule.

2. Supply/Substitute Teacher

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Supply teachers are likely to work on an on-call basis, meaning maximum flexibility and choice in working hours.

3. Customer Service/ Help Desk Advisor

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Working on a flexible shift basis means that customer service/ help desk advisors have greater control over their working schedules than those who are confined to 9-5 hours.

4. Sales Representative/Salesperson

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Working in sales, you are likely to be measured on results and productivity vs. presenteeism. Where and when you work is not important as how you work.

5. Admin/Office Assistant

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Admin/ Office Assistant roles are ideal for those who wish to work on a flexible, part-time basis.

6. Investment Analyst

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Investment Analysts enjoy great benefits that working for top companies can bring, such as flexible benefits and freedom of choice in working schedules

7. Marketing/ Social Media Manager

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Marketing/ Social Media Managers have a high level of work-life balance due to having the flexibility to work remotely. Again, productivity and results are more important than presenteeism in this sector.

Flexiworkforce.com is the only UK-wide jobs site solely offering flexible working roles. We have exciting roles with top companies, including RBS, PwC and Santander.

Register today to find the job that works for you.

5 Textbook CV Mistakes You Need to Fix Today

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Are you tired of sending out the same, uninspiring CV to employers, knowing that your stilted resume is doing you no real favours? All too often the CVs that employers receive are ineffective, in that they reveal nothing about the true capabilities and personality of the candidate behind them.

The time has come to ditch the generic language and start owning your CV and the story it tells. Omit clichés and contrived, old-hat formulas, and you may find that you have more luck with being called in for interviews.

Are you making these CV mistakes? Remedy them now!

Mistake #1 Not injecting personality

Sorting this mistake is key to mastering the rest of these classic CV bugbears. How can you expect an employer to see you as a real, 3D, living and breathing candidate when your CV is lifeless utterly fails in conveying your personality. One thing that you must do is ditch clichés. Do you really think that you will bag the job by telling the employer that you can ‘work well alone and as part of a team’? Ridding your CV of platitudes is the first step to creating a resume with real impact.

 Mistake #2 Not telling a great story

Most of us aim to follow the traditional chronological model when writing a CV. While there is nothing wrong with this, don’t let the traditional format stifle your ability to tell the story of your career so far. Employers will be far more willing to read on if you can tell your career as a tale, rather than as a series of monotonous bullet-points.

Mistake #3 Third-person narrative

You are the protagonist of your life, not the omniscient narrator. Stop talking about yourself in the third person! While you may feel that this will give your CV a more professional tone, writing in the first-person will give your CV a sense of life and authenticity that becomes lost when you start referring to yourself as ‘the candidate’.

Mistake #4 Not Identifying the problem you aim to solve

Perhaps the most significant factor in distinguishing yourself from the rest of the crowd is the ability to effectively identify and summarise how you will be of benefit. There is a reason why the employer is advertising for new staff. Think of the problems that they need you to solve for their business and make it clear that you are equipped and willing to deal with this pain.

Mistake #5 Not including a ‘high points’ montage

It’s easy to write  a list of the tasks that have fallen into your remit in previous roles, but it might be more difficult to identify high points or achievements that will impress prospective employers. Have a brainstorming session and think of all the things you have done that you are most proud of. This will distinguish you as  results-oriented candidate, and again, will help to tell your unique story.

How to Open Up Your Career and find Greater Fulfillment

Is it possible to turn your current job into the job of your dreams?

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Are you stressing yourself out over a job which is offering you little in way of way of personal fulfillment? Perhaps you have good reason to be looking for new opportunities, but maybe it’s the case that you’d rather focus your energies on improving the career you have!

It’s only natural to sometimes feel stuck in a dead end, and if you start to think about this a lot then you know it’s time to think about looking for a new role. However, it’s important to understand the difference between wanting a new job, and simply wanting a more fulfilling role which offers more scope for career fulfillment and personal development.

Only you can know how best to improve your career, but here are some points that you should consider when transforming  your current role into your dream role!

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What is good?

There are good and bad aspects of every job out there, regardless of how soul-destroying you believe your current role to be! Make a list of every good point of you current job, as this will enable you to see clearly the aspects of your job that you value and would like to maintain as your career progresses

What could be better?

If you are reading this article then there must be some aspects of your current role that you dislike. You have not failed, as a career is just one long learning curve, and being able to figure out  your career likes and dislikes is key to working out what you actually want to do. It’s more than okay to realise that your job is not all it cracked up to be- as long as you take positive steps forward to improve the situation!

Do you crave more flexibility?

Many people are envious of those who work from home, but perhaps you feel as though your career is genuinely too ridgid and stifling. You can now request flexible working thanks to recent legislative changes. Alternatively, you could use Flexiworkforce to search for flexible opportunities in your field which will allow you to cast off ‘presenteeism’ and gain opportunities with companies that are progressive and forward-thinking in their approach to working hours. Making the jump to freelancing may also be an effective solution to shaking up your current career and gaining more control over your work life.

What would happen if…

You told your employer that you wanted to change either your hours or the remit of your current position. Would your request be met with scorn or indifference, or would your employer be willing to accommodate your request in order to help you progress in your career?

Could you do more?

Maybe it’s the case that you’re simply not making the most of your current role. Explore the potential for training and professional development within your organisation. If you have an idea for a new project, bring it up with your boss and gauge their reaction to your proactive attitude. If they encourage you then you may find it easy to find greater fulfillment by expanding your current role. However, if your employer tells you that it’s not feasible, perhaps it’s time to look for new opportunities.

What would get you onto the right path?

It’s essential to identify what you need to do in order to change your attitude to work. Whether you want to find greater fulfillment by gaining new skills, or desire a more flexible working schedule, only after you’ve identified the issue can you begin to move on in search of what you really want.

9 Ways to Stay Sane while Job Hunting

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1. Make job hunting your job 

It’s common advice, but getting up and working like you would on a regular day may help you feel more focused and productive than you would if you stayed in bed until 1pm! Try to maintain a routine that feels normal for you. That involves getting out of the pyjamas before lunchtime!

2. Alternatively, limit your job hunting to a few hours here and there

While it is good to maintain a regular routine, devoting an entire day to job hunting may feel soul destroying when there are not too many jobs that you are interested in applying for. If you are in this situation, focus on quality, not quantity, and concentrate on getting an interview for the opportunities you really want rather than firing off CVs to every advertisement you see online.

 3. Create a bank of information about yourself

Many job applications involve answering questions set by the employer in order to test your skills, attitude and suitability for the role. However, the ‘Groundhog Day’ feeling of answering the same questions over and over again is enough to drive you mad! Keep a word document consisting of chunks of information that can easily be copied and pasted to form a cover letter. Similarly, Include answers to commonly recurring job application question to save you countless frustrating hours of typing.

4. Stay grounded (most of the time)

That means, spend the majority of your job hunting hours applying for jobs that you have a reasonable shot of getting an interview for. Aim for jobs that fit your skills and expertise, rather than applying for jobs that you are overqualified for.

5.Occasionally, shoot for the stars 

That being said, there really is no harm in sending out a maverick application for the job of your dreams! You might be underqualified right now, but look carefully at the candidate requirements as they may give you clues on how you can progress your career to eventually snag that dream job.

6. Keep a diary of any job you apply for

This is a great tip which will help you to stay on track with your jobsearch and take stock of every role you have applied for. This will be especially helpful when you are following up on opportunities you have applied for or been interviewed for.

 7. Give yourself credit where credit is due

Reward yourself for applying to new roles, especially when it involves stepping out of your comfort zone. Job hunting is hard, so don’t be down on yourself when you’re knocked back from a couple of opportunities.

8. Learn to deal with rejection in a positive way

A great way of dealing with rejection is to channel negative emotion into a positive outlet. Every time you get a rejection email, use the anger and frustration you feel to fuel positive action. This could mean firing out more applications, or altering your CV or cover letter to present your skills and expertise in the best possible light.

9. Remember that good news is just around the corner

It’s vital to always remember that you will not be unemployed forever! It really is only a matter of time until a new opportunity comes knocking. Though the wait can be frustrating, your efforts will eventually be worthwhile.