Over 50? Get Ready to Re-launch Your Sales Career

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If you’ve been out of work for awhile and are now ready to re-enter the work force as a sales professional, there are a few things you’ll have to do. Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, the founders of iRelaunch, the back-to-work organization, lay out a step-by-step plan of how to return to work. They’ve even written a book on the subject entitled Back on the Career Track.


The number of professionals who return to work after a prolonged absence is vast—as many as two million by iRelaunch estimates. Many older workers have shed their baggage—maternity leave, fewer spousal relocations—and are ready to renter the workforce with a mature attitude and energy that’s hard to find these days. If you’re ready to re-launch your sales career, here’s what the iRelaunch experts suggest:


  • Don't apologize for your hiatus. Instead, show how you kept up your sales skills through volunteer work or by attending classes.
  • Work full time to re-launch. Get up early, get dressed, spend six hours a day on researching companies and looking for work. Get out of the house, meet people, look and act like you are ready to re-launch you career.
  • Believe in yourself. You have valuable core skills—salesmanship, analytic, leadership--far more than just sales figures and product information. These are undeniable assets to prospective employers.
  • Practice your interviewing skills. Hone your elevator pitch. Use your sales skills to re-sell your talents, background, and accomplishments. Practice in front of colleagues (you must have connected with dozens in your early sales career). Incorporate their feedback.
  • Re-assess your wardrobe. Get rid of your dated suit, shirts, shoes and accessories. See what today’s top sales pros are wearing.
  • Exploit social media. Update your professional online profiles—LinkedIn, Facebook, and other career and job sites. Remove any photos and information that dates you too far back in time. Let people know that you’re looking to re-launch your career.
  • Do physical networking. When you're not filling out job application forms online, go on informational interviews, attend seminars, conferences, and trade shows. Print up some business cards and hand them out at these events.
  • Explore corporate internships. Similar to college students’ internships, these are a great way to see if you and the prospective employer fit. If you can’t find an internship in your immediate area, browse through iRelaunch’s comprehensive worldwide list of back to work programs.
  • Suck it up. You may be interviewing and eventually working with people who are half your age. Get over it.


If you’re ready to re-launch your sales career, the competition will be fierce, but you have many things going for you. Follow the suggestions listed above, sell yourself (something you should know to do) and get busy.


Image courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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  • Alex Kecskes
    Alex Kecskes
    Thanks for your kind comments. Age can be a negative for some employers, but others are beginning to look past it and evaluate the applicant on his or her skills and experience.
  • Reynaldo V
    Reynaldo V
  • Charles D
    Charles D
    I concur with your ideas to get reconnected into the sales world and things you should do.
  • Judith D
    Judith D
    I thank Joseph for his comment.  I am currently employed with a large corporation - so please believe me when I tell you most of my peers are in their early thirties or forties!  I am not currently looking for work as I no longer wish continue in the industry...but trust me AGE DOES MATTER!!!!
  • Joseph A
    Joseph A
  • R.J.S
    "Not a good fit" def refers to AGE!....I have run into that statement more than 20 times in interviews in the last year. I was either over qualified or under qualified but mostly "NOT A GOOD FIT". I finally asked a prospective employer what that meant. He just said.....AGE! we want younger professionals. Wondering what my last job was, are you? General Manager of the Canadian Division for a Major import Firm dealing with all the Majors as well as 1000's of Maw and Pop operations as well. You would think my experience counts but that is a bottom line issue....AGE is a major negative issue if you are over 50

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