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Ems Posted 1 year ago
Anyone else struggling to find a job after being made redundant in 2020 thanks to covid. I’m 53, been a successful secretary/PA for 35 years. Signed up with 2 recruitment agencies, look on indeed etc daily. My confidence is now very low, worry my age and time out of work is now going against me.
30 likes & 120 replies
    • Officeboy 3rd April 2021 at 12:37 pm

      Im working as a Office administrator in the public sector. I think the best industries to try are the NHS, TFL, Local councils, or a Civil service role, they all employ hundreds of Office staff and are very good when it comes to equal opportunities especially age discrimination, and they’re all the biggest employers in the country. I have had continuing employment with them all over the last 30 years or more. Good luck!

    • Ems 15th May 2021 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks for the link, I’ll take a look

    • Deleted User 16th May 2021 at 10:18 am

      I got very disheartened after quitting a job I loved due to management bullying. After several jobs after that in domiciliary care and in a care home, I’m afraid to say I hated working for others. I know have my own business and although its hard work at the minute, I am loving all aspects of it.
      Maybe you could look into being freelance with your experience x

    • Ems 16th May 2021 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks, I feel your pain, I’ve also had too much toxic offices. Good for you starting your own business, continued good luck with it 🤗

    • PeteY50 18th July 2021 at 7:27 pm

      Don’t give up I too lost my job last year, had a few versions of my CV to send to different companies nothing for 2 weeks
      Then loads of interviews (good practice) and offered 3 jobs in one week
      Good Luck

    • Larnette 18th July 2021 at 8:54 pm

      My have already been mentioned as I haven’t read so the replies but how about setting yourself up as a VA.
      . I often use VA services as I don’t need anyone for enough hours to take on anyone permanent.
      I found with VA agencies that the quality is inconsistent depending on who you get.
      I found with solo PAs they tend take on too many clients and there’s a wait for a simple task that needs quick attention.
      There will be people who are looking for somewhere in the middle.
      I actually need someone but I’ve taken a break for now due to health. x

    • Larnette 18th July 2021 at 8:56 pm

      Just read your reply above.. That’s great news. A stress free job 😊.. All the best x

    • Russell H 14th September 2021 at 3:22 pm

      Me too. People just don’t understand my medical condition.

    • Dorothea 16th September 2021 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Ems. Glad to hear you have got a job. I’m still not working as regretably being a woman of a, certain age as the expression goes, I’m a (relatively) normal, sensible, functioning human for about 3.5 weeks, then completely unemployable for a week to ten days, which is a nightmare. Part time work, which lets me be off on a regular basis seems fairly hard to find. I’m hoping the latest dose of meds works, especially as the Govt is cutting Universal credit back to its pre-pandemic levels soon. Fingers crossed that I get somewhere finally, as extra pennies needed!
      Well done for getting your job..

    • Radha 10th October 2021 at 9:30 pm

      Yes I was made redundant feb 2020 and having no luck with jobs. I get ghosted half of the time after interviews.

    • Forget-Me-Not 12th October 2021 at 11:02 am

      Hi Ems, have you set your job alerts on Indeed etc for the type of role you are interested in? I get lots of potential jobs emailed to me from Indeed/CV Library and Glassdoor since I did this. Good luck anyway 🙂 Also with respect to the time you have been out of work, don’t despair! I have been unemployed for 5 months and whilst some of this was by choice, I have justified it when asked by saying that I have used the time productively by travelling (to broaden my experience) whilst taking time to carefully consider the career options available to me. Most recruiters respond positively if you demonstrate that you have used the time productively. Ahhh, just realised you have since found a job. Will leave my comment in case it helps someone else 🙂

      • Ems 22nd October 2021 at 4:02 pm

        Thanks for your comments. Yeah, I’ve been in my new job for over 3 months now, starting to feel like I know what I’m doing now and mentally getting over starting a new job/industry and getting used 2 being back at work after such a long lay off. It’s been a rollercoaster with good and bad days and it was a physical shock to the system as I throw bags of compost, heavy stones etc, but having said all that, I actually don’t miss being chained 2 a desk or phone I don’t have 2 deal with complaints and stroppy customers anymore! And the bonus I’ve lost loads of weight as its a lot of walking and lifting and shifting, so goodbye gym, hello guilt free cakes! Good luck 2 everyone else in the rest less community still looking for yr next job 🤞🙏

    • Anonymous User (no longer active) 13th October 2021 at 6:13 pm

      Same situation. Two years of job applications and being turned down for everything from Supermarket delivery driver, parking attendant, technical author (which is my trade). Been getting lots of glib advice from the DWP etc, but I don’t want to borrow lots of money and start a business doomed to failure, nor be a self-employed zero-hours van driver for an exploitative company!

    • Tooyoungtobeold 26th October 2021 at 12:32 pm

      Me too & I’m 65, had a few interviews, receptionist/administrator but I swear once they ask my age it all goes downhill, so roll on February when I officially become an old age pensioner! Not ha ha…I will keep trying though..

      • Helen-Springboard 22nd February 2022 at 3:10 pm

        Shocked to hear you have been asked your age at interview 😨 that should not be happening, and maybe those employers are not right for you. Hope you have found the right role now 🙂

    • Foreverheather 9th December 2021 at 8:56 am

      Hello, after working 10 years in a job I loved, I was made redundant at 52 and it took me 6 months of applying to many jobs that 100’s people were applying to. Going to interviews and nothing came of them; sometimes I wasn’t even given feedback by the agency that sent me!

      Then my job was “put at risk” in my next corporate company and I started looking for something else just in case I was made redundant and was introduced to a home based income opportunity.

      A year later I was made redundant at 57 and decided to continue with my home based business and that’s what i do now. It gives me an flexible income and the freedom to choose when I work. I have the support of like minded people and on-going training and self-development.

      • Ems 15th December 2021 at 8:26 pm


        Thanks for your comments and email.

        I now have a new job, been there 5 months. Its a complete change, very physical job working at a local garden centre warehouse, in the online department picking and packing online orders. No pressure, no responsibility no dealing with stroppy customers, although it is 8 1/2 hours standing on my feet, on minimum Wage, although I have managed to go part time which is great and I have lost a stone in weight due to the lifting and shifting, so guilt free cake and chocolate, bonus. Only downside apart from the wages and long day is a syco boss, which I can’t do anything about. Trouble is I’m the wrong side of 50, traditional secretarial jobs don’t exist, not sure I would want that hassle now and we are still in a global pandemic! So I find beggars can’t be choosers, at least it pays my mortgage, roll on retirement I say. Good luck with your new venture, thanks for thinking of me.

    • Karenwilliams 9th December 2021 at 9:51 am

      Have you tried looking in large companies websites for jobs, I work for Tarmac who struggles to recruit they advertise on their own website before they put vacancies in job sites. My son needed a job at the beginning of the year and I took it on to find him something I tweaked his CV to suit the job he was applying for, it took about three months but it worked. I would also stay when looking search on money rather than job description as some jobs have strange descriptions but your skills mean you could do the job just change your cv to suit and good luck don’t give up trying

    • Flufff 12th December 2021 at 9:06 pm

      Ems, What about Call Centre? I know it can be a little soul destroying but could be a stepping stone? 🙂

    • ElectricV 22nd January 2022 at 8:19 am

      I am 60 and very fit and loads retail experience, teaching assistant and been in the NHS for 13 years. Don’t want to think my working career is over and still trying to find work.

    • Debbie Hl 27th January 2022 at 10:53 am

      Have you tried local care & Nursing Homes? They prefer older staff with experience in the office and the newer ones that look like hotels pay a reasonable salary too.

      I’m talking from experience, I’ve managed many Homes and Care facilities and all my secretarial staff were a similar age to myself or older. Yea good Luck with your search.

      • Ems 27th January 2022 at 12:37 pm

        I found a part time job last year and have been doing it for 6 months. Whilst it isn’t the job I would have chosen, I have embraced the change, made it my own and made it work for me.

        I have to say making the decision to go part time for the first time in my life has been literally life changing and beneficial.

        Also, now I have a much more physical job I have lost over a stone in weight without trying which I’m pretty chuffed about. No more expensive gym and class subscriptions for me.

        Thanks for your message and good luck with everything for 2022.

        I have to say being a part of the rest less community has been a welcome addition and support to my life too.

        Take care

    • anitadavenportuk 1st February 2022 at 7:14 am

      Hi, I work from home as both a full time contractor for the NHS and have a part-time business as a Partner with Utility Warehouse. Two years ago, neither of these were remote. I have no intention of going back into an office. Obviously neither of these are ‘employed’ as such but I have NHS colleagues in jobs who also work from home. It’s a wonderful way to work

    • TmonT 1st February 2022 at 7:44 am

      Hi keep going it will happen, problem with job sites I believe many of the jobs are not available and they are merely collecting your info. have you tried good moves it’s a 3rd sector job site some jobs are paid some are voluntary Even if you volunteer 1-2 days a week it would help with your own morale etc Good luck 🤞

    • Blingy Bev 1st February 2022 at 1:58 pm

      I definitely understand I was made redundant in March 2020 I am 61 finding it really hard to get a new job. I was a Admin Officer was in my job for nearly 12 years with over 20 years of experience.

    • Enzo9 17th February 2022 at 8:02 am

      It’s so hard, I’m 54 and in the same position, made redundant due to Covid. Worked for four months in a job which didn’t feel right for me. I want a nice enjoyable job, without too much stress which tend to be entry level, then get told I’m over qualified. I have started new hobbies such as crossstitch and embroidery which I love and has helped me. There seems to be many in the same situation so don’t feel alone!

    • Anonymous User (no longer active) 18th February 2022 at 9:00 am

      It’s tough out there. I’m 64 and slightly disabled with spine damage. As a former airline pilot I find that I have very few transferable skills. The websites are a nightmare, and like others I’m not entirely convinced that many of these vacancies exist. Keep going is all you can do. After applying for about 50 jobs I had one interview, which I failed as ‘one HR point short’…..

    • Artyes 11th March 2022 at 9:52 am

      I am finding the same pain. I was successful in teaching until I was bullied out of the profession. I did manage to leave in a dignified way but apart from some short bursts of work , have nt found much to go to. Covid’s intervention has meant I have not worked in over two years. It does grind you down, especially when your partner is not that sympathetic.
      I am off to Indeed now. You know, the place where job finders go to die, a bit like an elephants graveyard!
      Keep trying though. Things will turn out good in the end!

      • Ems 20th March 2022 at 2:30 pm


        Your comment about indeed is spot on.

        I’ve now been in a part time job for 8 months. It’s completely different job, industry and now I know what I’m doing I’m enjoying it. I certainly don’t miss office or secretarial work. Perhaps look at a completely different job, ie a garden centre, which is where I work, they are pandemic proof, regularly employ over 50’s with transferable skills. Good luck

    • Becki 16th March 2022 at 2:01 pm

      Hi, I know what you mean I.am 57 and a nurse for L/D. Jobs are limited, all jobs seem to be for adult nurses… Every job advertisement is for a nursing home or PIP.
      I don’t want to that position. I am also a T/A but the pay is atrocious.
      Would like to train to work in an office or remote but you need experience in customer service.
      Wishing my life away as I can’t want to retire to get out of this rat race.
      Hope your luck changes soon.

    • Fiona Devey 18th March 2022 at 8:56 pm

      Just reading all these comments makes me feel a bit better and not quite so alone.
      I took voluntary redundancy from my job in admin for the police nearly five years ago.
      It was a job I had for nearly 20 years and I really enjoyed it but the constant grind of government cutbacks and threats of job cuts eventually wore me down, so at the age of 56 along with quite a lot of colleagues I took my pension early and my redundancy payout.
      I naively thought I could get a part time admin job to supplement my pension but came up against brick wall after brick wall.
      The police had even provided us with a professional CV writer so I knew it wasn’t that.
      The only jobs I’ve had no problem getting have been in supermarkets where I’ve been for nearly 4 years now. I like my colleagues very much but the job is not what I want and I feel my skills are being both wasted and eroded.
      Despite employers paying lip service to age equality I’m sure this is the problem as I never had this kind of trouble when I was younger.
      Still, good to know I’m not imagining things and that there are others out there in the same boat.

    • Dorothea 24th March 2022 at 12:46 am

      After two years at home, and even though I’ve worked in a toxic office or two, I seem to be in a minority- of wanting to get back to an office. I’m sick of the sight of my own four walls.

    • Umi Safwan 31st March 2022 at 8:38 am

      Dont worry, something will come up…

    • TriciaM 12th April 2022 at 7:49 pm

      I was a PA too, and aged 52 decided to take control of the hours I worked and set out to find an opportunity for flexibility.

      I now work when and where I want which is great!

      With your skills maybe you could too!

      I’d be happy to share what I do, maybe it would let you see there are alternatives!

      • Ems 12th April 2022 at 8:03 pm

        Hi Tricia

        Thanks for that.

        I now have a job. Part time as well! Been doing it for 9 months a complete career change in every way and it’s a breath of fresh air. Glad you have found a better job and career.

        It’s all about the work/life balance I find especially as I near retirement.

        Good luck


    • TriciaM 12th April 2022 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks for your message Em.
      It’s great when you find what works for you.

      • Ems 12th April 2022 at 8:58 pm

        Yep, it is. It was a long time coming and a very stressful and scary year, which I would never want to repeat! But fate gave me an opportunity which I turned around and made it work for me, phew! 💪