Fired At Fifty: Advice On How To Get Back In The Game.

It’s no secret that today’s economic climate is less than favorable. Occupy Wall Street’s continued activity is an obvious indicator that the job market remains rocky, to say the least. From recent college grads to people long into their career, no one’s exempt from joblessness.

However, with a closer look it seems that the more advanced age brackets are plagued with additional issues during the job search. Currently, the unemployment rate among those age 50 and up is 15%, twice the level it was before the recession. This staggering number is higher than it was during the Great Depression.

However, Bob Sloane of Old Greenwich and Tucker Mays of Westport are convinced that with the right tools and preparation, older executives may land covetable jobs. How do they know? They’ve personally experienced the duress of unemployment.

In their new book, Fired at 50: How to Overcome the Greatest Executive Job Search Challenge, they share these integral lessons, providing a comprehensive step by step process of just how to ace the 50+ job search and effectively fight the job market age bias.

In his 50s, Mr. Sloane was victim of a severe corporate downsizing, and first-hand learned the importance of doing a proactive job search and how to transfer his skills into new sectors.

Mr. Mays also found himself in a similar situation, in a period of job transition after age 50.

One of the largest obstacles to finding at new job is the age bias, including the idea that older executives cannot keep up with the pace of new technology, work demands, relationships with younger bosses, and more. These stereotypes of individuals 50 years and older are all too prevalent in the workforce, and may pose a seemingly insurmountable challenge.

Mr. Mays and Mr. Sloane met at the Executive Forum, a Greenwich-based nonprofit of senior executives providing career resources. Both were founding members, serving on the board for many years. After five years of leading the Executive Forum, Mr. Sloane and Mr. Mays realized that many terminated executives simply didn’t possess the appropriate job search skills, and they thought they could help.

“People in the group kept telling us that we should do something, as we both enjoyed being a part of the forum and mentoring. We thought there was a need, which we wanted to fill,” said Mr. Sloane.

Thus in 2001 they founded OptiMarket with the exclusive focus on guiding senior level executives 50+ through the job process. In the past decade, they’ve successfully advised countless professionals and as a result have developed some key tips and plans for what they call a “highly qualified but struggling age group.” Upon the decline of the economy and intensified pressures of the job market, Mr. Sloane and Mr. Mays decided it was time to “really explain to people how to go through this tough process.”

They share these integral lessons in their book, published by OptiMarket. The main goals of the book are to develop a focused job objective, manage time productively, learn how to network extensively, practice winning interview skills, and negotiate the best offers.

The book stresses a few essential points, which Mr. Sloane and Mr. Mays teach in their practice. From learning how to develop a concise and clear objective, to expanding networking, keeping busy with consulting work, and being prepared to change course, the book is full of tried and tested advice.

Since being published in September, they’ve received great responses from the business community,

including praise that this is the first book of its kind. The men have been featured on various news segments, including NBC, Fox and CNN. Though its focus is on older executives, Mr. Sloane believes that the book would be of use to high level professionals of any age, and any other job-seekers over 50.

“Though our main expertise is with senior level executives over 50, we think there’s a broad appeal to the lessons in the book,” said Mr. Sloane.

Mr. Sloane readily admits that finding a job after 50 is a challenge. He and Mr. Mays have found that executives tend to take between a year to 14 months to find a job, and now, post-recession, sometimes even longer. However, he insists that with the correct skill set, it is all a matter of learning how to efficiently navigate the job search, and land a great job after 50.

The book is available on Amazon and the publisher’s Web site. The book is also available in e-book version at

Source:Written by Christine Chung, Correspondent.



About Buzz Smith

Welcome. My name is Charles “Buzz” Smith and I’m the SR Curmudgeon of Consulting Services at OPI National Outplacement. My role, in addition to agitating our sales personnel, and consultants is to take the lead on delivering outplacement and career transition services that are effective. I blog about career stuff when my wife of 40 years, Linda banishes to the garden.

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great article Buzz Smith! I agree that people 50+ are very, very important part of the organization as the company benefits from their knowledge, maturity and they seem to be not distracted by social networks during hours- something which younger workers are more accustomed to. (LOL).

    – One-up your job search with a 30 60 90 day action plan.

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