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Too Old For The Job


Too Old For The Job

Warren’s frustration was slightly perceptible the day that he walked into my office. He hardly ever visited without an appointment, and my curiosity became straight away peaked.

I knew that the day previous, he’d ultimately had his lots anticipated assembly with a key decision-maker. Warren [not his real name] become in an energetic activity search and, over the preceding three weeks, had spoken via phone with this contact approximately a position he’d applied for. He’d obtained his call from a colleague who additionally worked at the corporation and who controlled to get Warren’s resume into the touch’s fingers. HR, in the end, referred to as setting up a verbal phone exchange. The selection-maker worked closely with the placement Warren implemented for and did not disguise his growing hobby as he got here to recognize how closely Warren aligned with what the organization turned into looking for in filling this job.

“I turned into, without a doubt, psyched approximately the previous day’s meeting,” Warren stated to me, punctuating his words with agitated gestures. “Both of my earlier conversations on the telephone went truly nicely. I figured it turned into a finished deal when he stated he desired me to fulfill the two administrators, certainly one of whom is the guy I’d be running without delay for.”

As Warren persevered chatting, he became extra bothered in a way that, as a professional expert, I identified all too frequently. “When I walked into his workplace and added myself,” he endured, “he seemed kind of dissatisfied, and his smile faded. As we talked, his tone was regarded as exclusive than at the telephone-the passion became long past. I attempted not to examine something into it, but there was no denying it. It becomes pretty apparent.

“The clincher changed whilst he stated that the other people weren’t available to meet with me in spite of everything – scheduling battle, he stated – and he couldn’t say when they’d be available again. He’d name me, he said. I became there less than half-hour.”

I sat in affected person anticipation and waited for the inevitable end. “The conversations went so properly up till he met me,” he surmised matter-of-factly. “I agree that it was my age.”


Whereas the unemployment charge for employees aged 55 and over remains lower than prices for the whole hard work pressure, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that because of the start of the recession, both the range of unemployed and the unemployment rate have accelerated through a more percentage most of the older section of the personnel than for younger segments. And, once unemployed, older workers are, on average, out of labor longer than their more youthful counterparts.

The individual on the other side of the desk may thoroughly be younger sufficient to be your son or daughter. Because it is only natural for the hiring supervisor to need to just like the man or woman employed – or at the very least discover with that individual – let’s pay attention to two of the more excellent common subject matters of stereotyped wondering concerning older employees:

1. Older people are less healthful/lack energy. Of path, growing older manner occasionally brings health issues. However, that can be overcome by appearing fit and healthy. In her book, Finding A Job After 50, creator Jeannette Woodward relates the account of a high faculty reunion at which an intruder might never guess that everyone there was the extraordinarily similar age. There are matters we do or don’t do this make our appearance and deliver us older.

2. Older humans are know-it-alls/proof against exchange. The surroundings are certainly more extraordinary than 15 or twenty years in the past. One component older workers have to avoid is while-I-became-your-age syndrome! If you maintain an attitude of the way things were or how things must be, you’re sabotaging your process search efforts.

There are different ill-gotten notions approximately older employees, but those tend to predominate. Let’s say you’re the person sitting in that hiring supervisor’s chair. Would you hire me? Assuming you will…Why? The project as an older worker is to emphasize the value which you deliver to the desk and anticipate and deflect the (mis)perceptions. Conveying what is in it for the Employer is paramount for the duration of that verbal exchange.


I’m finding it increasingly more ironic, having dealt for my part with loads of job seekers for the duration of my profession, that older workers themselves are swayed by using the stereotypes related to the process search. One specific purchaser confessed to me that she had no particular concerns about locating a new job until a pal said to her, “Because you are old, you will have a problem locating a task. Nobody’s going to need to rent you.” She stated she in no way notion of herself as “antique” till her pal’s statement, and now she has become involved! (Fortunately, her confidence changed into restored after attending my Overcoming Age Bias In the Job Search seminar.)

In the informative and motivational e-book, The Age Advantage: Making the Most of Your Midlife Career Transition, writer Jean Erickson Walker notes that inasmuch as age is undoubtedly a difficulty, it’s as much as you to make it an advantage alternatively. I frequently remind my clients that things are obligatory in this regard:

Know you are. Wow! Aspect… And now a way to articulate it effectively.

As a mature employee, you bring a stage of abilities and experience that can’t be provided by means of even the sharpest new university graduate. Don’t be intimidated with the aid of your very own revel. It has served you nicely at some stage in your profession:

— You no doubt have a robust paintings ethic. There’s no feeling of “entitlement” in how you method what you do.

— You have each depth and breadth of enjoyment. You bring an experience in records to your profession. You (and workers such as you) are the ‘memory’ of your work.

— Your expert community is robust. You understand plenty of humans. Tap into that massive pool of compatriots!

— Contrary to the stereotype, you, in all likelihood, are both laptop-savvy and up-to-date with technology. (If not now, take a pc magnificence.)

— You’ve probably had an outstanding deal of experience operating collaboratively with people of numerous a long time. One precise consumer of mine suggested that she cover the names of Gen X-er colleagues on her reference list. Great idea! The business enterprise will now get a valuable “younger” angle on the way you do what you do.

— Conduct your search with a heavy emphasis on Networking. This is a crucial part of absolutely everyone’s activity search, but even greater so if age is a concern. As an older employee, you want advocates – cheerleaders – who can pave your manner and champion your message within targeted corporations.

— Become a member of an expert employer inside your career – then join a crew. On a group, you’re now at the back of the scenes in a position of influence, and the first-rate of your community is fortified.

— Should you color your hair? This is becoming a hot-button problem in the activity search. It’s no longer too much of a problem for girls, as we have been doing that without apology for eons. Ironically, it is men who are more likely to (discreetly) inquire from me in the event that they ought to color their hair. I even have a stock answer: it is now not approximately looking younger – it is about looking applicable. We all realize those individuals who seem to have been locked, for something psycho-nostalgic purpose, into a few lengthy-in the past decade. Do you appear out of touch, out of style? Again, the individual on the opposite facet of the desk might be young enough to be your son or daughter. Do you look like (and encounter as) that character’s antique Aunt Clara or Uncle Rufus?

I gazed at Warren standing there. “I believe it turned into my age,” he repeated count number-of-factly. I nodded in, taking into consideration the settlement. No experience looking to position a saccharin spin on this.

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