Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!" NRDS ID#641625055


A number of years ago, after a prolonged period of illness, I unintentionally found myself counted as one of the unemployed.

When I was ready to return to the workforce, I updated my work history, perused newspaper and online ads, wrote targeted, informative and well-articulated cover letters and sent out 150 or so resumes. Each time, I waited impatiently to hear back that my background, education and enumerated strengths were tailor-made for the opening.

Of the ridiculously few 4 or 5 interviews I was granted, I was offered no positions. It was a real eye-opener to discover that as I was rapidly approaching the age of 50, I was no longer in demand in the marketplace. Job Fair 2/6/2012

Fortunately, I discovered real estate as a career and it's been a perfect fit ever since. The flexibility of the workday suits my needs perfectly and the sky's the limit in terms of introducing creativity for getting the job done. Since science has supported that autonomy, mastery and making a contribution to society are people's main motivators at work, the real estate field certainly seems to fit the bill.

For anyone over "a certain age," finding employment, especially in this economy, can seem an awful lot like spinning your wheels. It can take a really long time and there's no guarantee of success at the end. The main problem seems to be prevalent biases against the older worker. Bosses may be afraid an older employee will be stuck in his ways and not quick to catch on to new ways of doing things, display little energy during the workday and have trouble taking orders from someone much younger. In a country, where youth and vitality are promoted as the ideal, an aging workforce sends the wrong message.

In fact, the very opposite of the stereotype portrayed above has emerged to be true. After the ago of 50, you're less likely to have distractions that can interfere with your career. If you're a woman, your pregnancy days are over and your children have likely reached adulthood. You won't miss any more work days because your child has a fever or a a talent show is being presented at school. Those are the years when you can really throw yourself into your job and give 110% to the development of your career. If anything, older workers have fewer sick days, and are more loyal to the company. Their enthusiasm, dedication and genuine desire to excel coupled with a real appreciation for the opportunity afforded them makes them the perfect candidates.

Innately introverted, during my unemployed tenure, I struggled with embarrassment and gravitated toward keeping my status under wraps. In hindsight, I was doing it all wrong."Do as I say and not as I do" would be the most obvious advice I could give you at this point in time.

You absolutely need to get the word out and, in this day and age, this means using social media to advertise your availability. Let everyone know on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Google plus etc. that you're looking for a job. Maybe, someone will recognize your talents, your uniqueness and what you can bring to the table and your job application days will be far behind you.

Nassau County offers employment workshops for those older than 55.


Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center   631.853.6600


Job Fair picture courtesy of Senator Mark Warner's photostream via's Creative Commons License




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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Senior Real Estate Specialist

Jill Sackler, NYS Licensed Agent based on Long Island's South Shore

Jill Sackler




     Specializing in Lifecycle Real Estate Transitions

"When your family doesn't fit your family home, I can help."
     reach me @516.395.8376




 ©Jill Sackler 2010

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Comments 12 New Comment

Jon Zolsky
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

I came to this country a bit too late, I was 40, and with all our baggage from another country and another culture, Not that many opportunities for those who were in the same situation. In a sense, you are very right about real estate.

It is a perfect fit, as it allows to operate without a lot of inventory, initial operating expenses...

February 06, 2012 10:49 PM
Cindy Westfall
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon

Hi Jill, After years choosing to be home raising my kids..especially through several moves to different states, It was interesting to get back into the work force in my mid forties. Real estate has been a perfect fit for me as well. I do remember seeing a video..think it was on Alan May's blog a while back showing a young motivational speaker asking the older generation to please stay in the work force. He goes on to say that the younger generation needs us as we have that great work ethic that isn't really seen today. Great blog!

February 06, 2012 10:55 PM
Steve and Jan Bachman
Realtors - Northern Virginia
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax

Thank God for real estate! The charms of it never end for us 50 year old geniuses I say.

Now, if I just happened to be an electrical engineer with a masters in computer science as well...

forget it...that can't be as much fun as Realtordom eh Jill ?

February 07, 2012 05:21 PM
Sheila Newton Team -- Anderson & Greenville SC Real Estate
--Residential/Short Sales/Foreclosures
RE/MAX Realty Professionals

I am getting very close to the 50 mark.. great post and it makes me feel better about my age!

February 07, 2012 10:53 PM
Jill Sackler
Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!"

Ellen - Get your portfolio out there! You're sure to change their minds with the caliber of your work.

Jon - When I first started here on AR, Why Choose Real Estate? was the 2nd or 3rd blog I posted. I called it the Great Equalizer.

Cindy - Thanks. Never saw that video but I like the message. However, I can't help but think that part of the problem is that when there are not enough jobs for everyone, something has to give.

Hi Steve - I like the sound of that word - Realtordom. The fun never ends in real estate.

Sheila - Welcome. It isn't all that bad. The great part is feeling really comfortable in your own skin.


February 07, 2012 11:31 PM

Jill Sackler

Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent
Long Island Living - Where Memories Are Made
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