What does the future of work look like for mature workers?

by | Nov 16, 2020

Welcome back to the latest in my new monthly series of guest blogs, where I invite inspiring people from the world of ‘positive aging’ to feature their work on my site.

This month, we have Hunter Leonard, multi award winning businessman and founder of Silver & Wise, which aims to contribute to an end to ageism, talking about the future of work for older people, a subject very close to my heart. Hunter, over to you!

It is a familiar script that plays out for anyone over 50 who is looking for work. You polish up the resume, start combing the job sites, and confidently send off applications for a variety of jobs that perfectly suit your experience.

What does the future of work look like for mature workers?

In the past this has been a successful action for you. A few applications, a couple of interviews and voila – a great new job with a company where you become a productive and valued member of the team.

Or perhaps, you didn’t even need to look for a job, because someone in your network heard you were available, and that resulted in a referral or you being head-hunted. 

Alas, this past is now no more than a pipe dream for the over 50s in our community.

In 2020, the situation will likely look like hundreds of applications, with few or no calls for interviews. And in the unlikely event you do get an interview, you’ll be insulted with questions like – “Don’t you think you’re overqualified for this role?” or “How is your energy, because this is a fast-paced role?” All barely varnished code for the deeply under reported ageism that is endemic in organisations and recruitment firms around the western world.

In 2020, the situation will likely look like hundreds of applications, with few or no calls for interviews.

In order to avoid this common and frankly depressing situation where you start to question your own abilities and value, the smart mature person will set out on a new journey in the future. One where they control their own destiny.

Research tells us that 80% of organisations around the world see a future where there is a much larger freelance workforce – otherwise known as the GIG Economy – and this is where the smart, experienced and wise mature individual will find their security in the future.

The freelance economy for the over 50s

This means, you’ll need to be very aware of your skills and talents and value. You’ll need to hone your skills as a contractor or freelancer. You’ll need to be able to find potential clients and pitch your value. And you’ll need to be able to manage relationships with perhaps 5, 10 or 15 clients who contribute to your yearly income or revenue.

Leave the job sites alone, don’t be tricked into thinking that polishing your resume, updating your Linkedin profile and getting a great new headshot done will be anything more than window dressing.

Start planning for a future in the GIG Economy or as a Freelancer, or start your own business. In this way, you’ll be back in control – ageism won’t exist and you will have a future where your experience and wisdom is valued.

Enjoy the journey.


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Dare to Discover Your Purpose is an innovative new online retirement course designed to help you change the way you feel about this important but often misunderstood life stage.

hunter_leonardHunter Leonard is a multi-award winning businessman, author, ageism activist and founder of Silver & Wise. He helps mature people create a future where their experience is valued as business owners, freelancers or employees.

You can find him on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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