Overcoming Ageism by Reframing Your Skills: Marc Mooney’s Job Search Story

Marc Mooney worked for years as a T.V. news correspondent in Washington D.C. covering the Capitol and the White House. Now, he works as a digital media specialist for The Historic Trust. Read how he navigated ageism and found new skills to find a job working in the nonprofit industry within a few months.

What do you do for a career?

I was a long-time television news correspondent who worked for both local affiliate and network shops. I covered Washington, D.C., the Capitol and White House, and even filed a few stories from overseas.

Who do you work for?

The Historic Trust in Vancouver, WA.

How long did it take you to find this job?

Just a few months, once I was positioned to interview with local nonprofits in need of somebody with my skills.

How did you find your job?

I went to Mac’s List events, where I met the folks of Social Venture Partners. SVP is known as a capacity builder for local nonprofits, and they help match older workers with nonprofits through their Encore Fellows Program.  

What resources did you use?

I used the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation program to re-tool my skills, in particular web design and development and video production for web.  

What tool or tactic helped the most?

Knowing how to navigate two sides of a demand/supply equation: the nonprofits that need an experienced hand communicating through digital media and the SVP/VA bureaucratic side which has its own special challenges.

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

Personal medical issues and the plague of “ageism” threatened to doom my efforts. But the patient retooling of skills bolstered my confidence.  

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What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

To older workers, don’t give up, ever. To younger workers, don’t give up, ever.

Why do you love your job?

The Historic Trust is at a crucial inflection point as an organization.  I like being a player in its transformation.