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15 Nov Finding a job after 55

Handsome mature businessman is holding a cup of coffee looking at camera and smiling in the background his colleagues are discussing work

By: Claude Lussier

I remember an old advertisement that ran about a dozen years ago featuring young retirees enjoying their “freedom 55” with no financial worries on the horizon. In 2017, the reality is quite different and finding a job after the age of 55 is not an easy task; I could talk about it at length.

Today’s difficulties

Recruitment is a significant cost for businesses and turnover rates are also very high in some industries. Often, companies recruit young graduates and bank on on-the-job learning and the possibility of advancement as a means of retention. But what about experience and acquired knowledge? While people of my generation have fewer advanced degrees, they have an equally valuable asset: field experience, which allows them to tackle all kinds of challenges that companies face today. Fortunately, there are still companies that understand this reality. It’s the case where I currently work: Alithya, one of the largest private firms in strategic advice and digital technology in Canada.

I remember sending more than two hundred resumes at one time. Most were personalized and elaborated on my experience and the skills specifically sought in each posting. But the phone rarely rang and when I was able to get an interview in person, people found me very interesting, loved my experience and my personality. However, in the end, I always got a negative answer. Believe me, this can be very demotivating. Despite a great background, pertinent experience, and many skills… nothing seemed to work out.

At Alithya I was trusted and supported in my approach. I want to thank the recruiting team for believing in me. Today I have to my credit several mandate renewals with the same client, proving that it is the experience and the skills that make all the difference.

I started my career at Alithya as a senior advisor, permanent consultant. After some time, I discovered that the human values that the company advocated were perfectly in line with my own, which encouraged me and made me want to invest more of myself. So I returned to my old love: “management”. Today, I have the opportunity to manage, coach and mentor a team of our staff on a daily basis, as well as to provide them with all the required support. And this, for employees of all ages.

To conclude: when a company like Alithya believes in you and trusts in your experience, the relationship is beneficial for all involved.