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Make the most of your experience

“SORRY,” says the boss, “I have to let you go. I’ll give you a good reference. I’m sorry, but I have to cut costs.”

It’s a scenario played out every day as businesses adopt a tough approach to the bottom line.

Out you go, buoyed by the offer, your optimism and adrenaline, and thinking: “What the hell, it was time for change. There’s been no pay rise this year. I’m in rut.”

Some walk straight into another job.

The boss’ announcement didn’t come as a surprise. You have been aware of the pressures in your old company and have spent the past few months quietly fishing, laying the groundwork. You know what you want. Several employers are waiting eagerly in anticipation. It’s only a question of saying yes. After today, that will be so much easier.

This sounds too good to be true and perhaps it is, but it demonstrates how work has changed. We live in a different world and few of us have realised just how different it is.

The tragedy is that many people, when handed a DCM from the boss, are not prepared. This can be deadly.

For those who are not prepared, it can be the start of months, even years of frustration.

The CV, which landed you your last job, is now out of date. You soon realise this, as it fails to make an impression on the first few job applications.

This can be a very corrosive process familiar to all job seekers. Help is available though. It’s not just secretarial help. It’s help in the art of marketing yourself, and everyone needs to be aware of what is required.

You are your most important asset. You need to be constantly aware that lack of growth is as disastrous to you as it is to business.

Skills and ability are the security of the modern worker.

Joblinks has a program called Profit From Experience to help mature age job seekers create CVs and to upgrade licences and skills.

The Northern Metro Joblinks with the Stirling Business Association has spent the past three months contacting many businesses in their area to determine attitudes to mature age job seekers and to market the program to employers.

Employers are very positive towards this group of people, but they are cutting costs to survive and current employment intentions are low.

Despite this, many have said they are intend employing additional people in the near future and the good news is that they will be looking for mature age people.

It’s their boundless optimism telling them that the business cycle will turn.

Job hunting has some very basic rules, according to John Stanton of the Salvo’s Employment Plus program.

Know what you have to offer. Businesses look for people who boost sales or reduce costs. Demonstrate how you have done this in the past. Have really good answers for issues that may be viewed as negative by an employer.

Take the time to build networks of people who will sing your praises. Nothing is more reassuring than a good reference.

Above all, remember that employment has become a vicarious experience for both employer and employee.

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