Use experience to your advantage
You are not alone in fearing the worst. In a survey of IT professionals last year, two-thirds felt they would struggle to find a job after the age of 45.
However, you have a wealth of experience to bring to the workplace, not only more than 20 years' of technical know-how but also interpersonal skills, which can be a key differentiator at interviews.
Make sure your CV looks professional, and focus on the skills you have used most recently. Also, practice your interview technique to accentuate your business acumen and man-management skills, as these are attributes younger candidates often lack.
Age should not be a prohibitive factor, particularly with your Java qualification. Monarch recently found positions for a 50-year-old C++ programmer and a 59-year-old Delphi analyst programmer. Employers in IT are also realising that to attract and retain candidates, regular training must be offered.
To maximise the number of opportunities available to you, you will need to be as adaptable as possible in both the remuneration package and location of your next position.
This was first published in January 2001