What To Do When You Get Laid off at 50 (Plus Tips and Job Recommendations)

Getting laid off is traumatic, but at least I got the bad news in a fitting place. I was in a doctor’s office when my cellphone rang.

I could tell he was reading some legalese script prepared by the Human Resources Department. He rattled on for another minute or so, then the doctor came in.

If only it were that easy. After 30 years in the media business, I was suddenly unemployed. What’s worse, I was 53 years old.

As far as employers are concerned, I might as well have been 153 and have a case of leprosy. As I sat there in a semi-daze, I had no idea what laid ahead.

Like a lot of people, I figured I’d just cruise through my working 50s and ease into retirement sometime in my 60s. Suddenly, a gloomy, mysterious future flashed my eyes.

Who can I call? … Will all my experience help or hurt my job prospects? … Should I get a facelift? … Am I destined to become a Walmart greeter?

What to do when you get laid off at 50
  1. Check your benefits. While getting laid off at any age can be challenging, certain benefits may be available to help you support yourself until you find a new job. …
  2. Consider looking for supplemental income. …
  3. Experiment with a trial retirement. …
  4. Search for a new source of income.

Starting Over In Your 50’s – What To Do When You’re Laid Off | Financial Symmetry

What to do when you get laid off at 50

Consider following the steps if you find yourself laid off from your job at 50:

1. Check your benefits

While getting laid off at any age can be challenging, certain benefits may be available to help you support yourself until you find a new job. Depending on your former position and company standards, you may be entitled to benefits like:

2. Consider looking for supplemental income

Depending on the type of severance package your former employer provides, you may need to earn additional income while you search for a new job. Here are a few options you may want to:

3. Experiment with a trial retirement

Rather than starting a job search immediately after getting laid off at 50, you may benefit from taking a trial retirement. Also referred to as a sabbatical or gap year, a trial retirement is a limited period in which you can focus on professional and personal development instead of working. A trial retirement can help you plan a future retirement that fits your needs, decide what kind of job youre interested in pursuing next and give you time to develop new skills and interests. While the length of your trial retirement is up to you, they typically last from one month to a year.

4. Search for a new source of income

Here are a few ways employees over 50 can add a fresh source of income after getting laid off:

What does getting laid off mean?

When an employer no longer needs staff for a particular position, they may choose to lay off employees. Unlike firing, being laid off isnt a reflection of poor behavior or performance at work. Instead, its typically because of changes happening within the workplace, such as:

Tips for landing a job after getting laid off at 50

Here are a few key ways you can recover from your layoff and get a new job at 50:

Eight jobs to consider after getting laid off at 50

After a layoff, some mature professionals consider shifting careers. For example, you may be interested in pursuing a job that emphasizes your hobbies, places you in an industry you enjoy or requires different daily responsibilities than your previous position. These jobs can include:

Primary duties: Event planners collaborate with clients to schedule services for meetings and special events like weddings, fundraisers, conventions or ceremonies. They typically oversee the financial planning aspects of an event, as well as help clients choose a date, venue and hotel that suits their needs best.

Primary duties: Office managers work with clerical, specialist and executive staff to support the daily and long-term operations of an organization. They are often responsible for overseeing budget planning, hiring new employees and ensuring office records are updated and organized.

Primary duties: Tour guides introduce interesting attractions to travelers and local residents. They lead tours on a regular route while sharing historical information, anecdotes and stories about the places they pass. They may also arrange multi-day tours for individuals, private groups and educational institutions.

Primary duties: Travel agents are professionals who take care of planning vacations, tours and activities for their clients. They research a location, evaluate costs based on a clients budget and make recommendations for the trip. After a client decides where theyd like to travel, an agent may make hotel and transportation arrangements and provide a trip itinerary.

Primary duties: Fitness instructors are wellness professionals who are responsible for leading exercise classes and showing individuals how to do specific movements. They often provide helpful advice for their clients about nutrition to support a healthy lifestyle. Some fitness instructors also supply first aid support in the event of an emergency.

Primary duties: Executive assistants are responsible for providing clerical support to a company executive or leader. They often handle staff training, interact with clients, plan staff meetings and organize travel arrangements, in addition to responding to phone calls, emails and faxes.

Primary duties: Sales representatives are professionals who are responsible for promoting products or services on behalf of a company. They regularly use customer service skills to teach potential customers about a product, negotiate prices and persuade leads to make a purchase.

Primary duties**:** Nutritionists are healthcare professionals who are responsible for cleaning patients teeth and helping dentists examine a patient. Hygienists frequently educate patients about how to care for their oral health to prevent tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis and other oral health conditions.

FAQ

What to do when you lose your job in your 50s?

10 tips for what to do when you lose your job at 50
  1. Evaluate how you’re doing emotionally. Losing a job in your 50s could take an emotional toll. …
  2. File for unemployment. …
  3. Create a plan. …
  4. Keep track of your savings. …
  5. Inquire about insurance. …
  6. Identify your skills and strengths. …
  7. Refresh your resume. …
  8. Commit to searching for a job.

Is it harder to find a job after 50?

It can be especially challenging to find a new job in your 50s and 60s. The unemployment rate for older workers is lower than that of younger workers, but once out of work, older workers seem to have greater difficulties landing a new position.

What is a good career to start at 50?

Pharmacists, exercise physiologists, dietitians and nutritionists, therapists, podiatrists, optometrists, surgeons, orthodontists, dentists, and chiropractors are among the jobs in this group. Many of these positions require extensive training and advanced degrees.

How do I get hired at 50?

The key to finding a new job after age 50 is to focus on your expertise while also demonstrating your ability to learn new skills. “Your seniority and experience will give you a competitive advantage,” Brush says. “Own it and embrace it, and articulate why it’s an advantage for the company.”

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