Feeling Older?Posted: October 2, 2021
I’ll just come out and say it, age discrimination in employment is real. If you are over 50, you will have a more difficult time finding a job. Sometimes it’s blatant and sometimes is subtle, but more likely it is completely unintentional. Full disclosure, I’m over 60 and I know what I’m talking about.
As a general rule, the longer your career, the more you know, the more varied experiences you’ve had, and that should mean that you are more prepared to solve complex problems, will require less training, and will likely be a more loyal employee. But, it also might mean that you command a higher salary and a larger title.
The other thing that sometimes comes with experience is a set of bad habits and a resistance to change. You learned how to do this task 20 years ago, you certainly don’t need some young pup (your new boss) telling you to do it differently. That’s called being a curmudgeon and is rarely a good thing in the workplace (or anywhere else). Finally, younger workers typically have more recently been in school, are often more open to learning, know the current trends/techniques, and tend to be more comfortable with both technology and change.
These are all generalizations, but in reality, most hiring managers are using generalizations and assumptions. That’s all they have. So, they think they are picking the person they believe will help their organization the most.
To counter that, you need to be prepared to come out swinging. Talk about your experience AND your flexibility. Talk about your knowledge AND your ability to learn. Demonstrate your familiarity with current trends and technology.
If you are over 50 and a curmudgeon, you will face age discrimination, and maybe you deserve it. But if you are over 50, and have continued to learn new skills, kept current in your field, and are open to change; well now you are a clearly better hire than those young whippersnappers that are still wet behind the ears. Don’t be a victim of age discrimination. Fight back by keeping yourself current, flexible, and open to learning and change. If you are struggling, this might help: https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/