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Book review: How to find work when you’re over 50

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How to find work when you are over 50 cover
Our reviewer finds this “a fairly comprehensive toolkit”, but wonders whether it specifically addresses the need of a particular age group. Is it, even, “a bit patronising”?


Title: How to Find Work When You’re Over 50
Author: Jackie Sherman
Publisher: How To Books
ISBN: 1-84528-089-9
Price: £9.99
Reviewer: Jo Lamb-White

This book is a fairly comprehensive toolkit for those seeking work; essentially paid work but it does visit the non-paid arena too.

It ranges logically from thinking about individual needs and wants, and progresses through finding vacancies, applying for roles, interviewing and finally, if offered, taking or rejecting the offer.

The chapters are well laid out, clear and easy to follow. They are also peppered with references (particularly to the internet) and further reading. These tend to detract a little from the text and can become a distraction to the messages. They could have been presented in a better and more useful way if they were to have been included as a summary at the end of each chapter.

The book really applies to most ages and does not seem to be aimed specifically at the over 50s, despite its title. Occasionally the author will mention specifically certain opinions or actions for the over 50s which tends to bear out this observation.

From experience, I understand that whatever age you are, the steps and processes on obtaining a job are the same.

“I suppose what I was looking for was something different, a bit more focused and innovative on over 50s issues in these circumstances. Perhaps there aren’t any.”

Sources of vacancies are well covered. In particular, the use of the Internet is, quite rightly, well referenced. The use of the Internet in job vacancies is huge and continuing to grow.

In fact the use of a computer, not only to access the internet but also to produce vital communications for job hunters, is given high priority. Yet the author assumes in much of her text that the reader does have access.

However, as an appendix, she gives some very basic guidelines and instructions to working with a computer. Given, as said earlier, the use of a computer is embedded in the book’s chapters, I found the appendix a bit patronising. Perhaps it would have been better for this section to have a profile in the main body of the work, or, better still, the reader could be pointed to a “sister” publication that could provide a rich source of understanding about computers and the Internet.

So, all-in-all a reasonably useful reference book, covering all the major aspects of job hunting generally, with the occasional nod to the over 50s. For a reprint or update, apart from the points already made, I would suggest a bit more on why someone is looking for work and any legal issues around that, i.e. redundancy, unfair dismissals, pension scheme collapse.

Review ratings:

  • Overall 4

  • Helpfulness 4

  • Layout Good and logical

  • Value for money A bit expensive – all this information is on the net anyway

  • Suitability for professional level Not really for directors, managers or consultants

  • Would you recommend it? As a simple guide, yes


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