Jobhunting after 50 – who needs you?

13 Sep 2016

Every year Antal places almost 1,000 mid-to-senior level people into new jobs in the CIS region, yet only around 1% of these are aged over 50. Is this really a ‘Russian’ phenomenon?
As global longevity increases, governments have been forced to make unpopular announcements that their population of working age will be required to toil for several more years before they can receive a State pension. At the same time many business commentators readily admit that if you were to lose your job in your 50s, you are likely to find it difficult to return to decent, permanent employment. So what chances do the Baby Boomers have, and can anything be done to influence this situation? The easiest and most obvious advice would be to ensure that you don’t lose your job in the first place, although in today’s climate of economic uncertainty this is perhaps easier said than done. Candidates can be guilty of pricing themselves out of the market or losing self-motivation and failing to engage with their staff. In a recent assignment we were asked to replace the Country Manager as he was only seen in the office three days a week. Another General Manager was found to be moonlighting on the side, having built up a network of other business outside of his day job, some of them even competing!
Don’t over estimate your importance. Yes, you have done a great job of growing the business from 1m to 100 million but you also got paid for this already. Past successes rarely secure your future in an organisation. Nobody will be interested in the old stories anymore and a prospective employer would want to know if you capable of now taking it from 100m to 1,000m.
Do you consider your staff to be fully engaged or are you already living in a different world? Try to measure the both the amount of time, and the frequency your people use their mobile phones, surfing social media during your talk. An equally useful alternative would be to check how many of your staff sign up for initiatives started by yourself, and how quickly. One tactic is that the best form of defense is attack, rather than sitting around and waiting to be contacted. Openly talk about possible moves with your superiors, colleagues and HR. The initiative that you are, for example ready to take a step forward, backwards or sideways, such as to become an ‘advisor’ to the next generation should come from you. By that time, money will hopefully no longer be the main driver anymore.
Consequently, if you are over 50 and reading this, my hope is that you will be contacting us to help recruit staff for your expanding organization since you are doing an excellent job: your regional superiors have given you the green light to go ahead and make additional hires, and not because you have recently found yourself on the scrapheap and ready to accept almost anything simply to remain in Russia.

Written in collaboration with Antal Russia/Luc Jones. For more information:


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