You worked your whole life. You occupied senior
positions within your respective organisations.
You trained people below you and maybe even mentored
some. All that has changed. You now are
looking for work. You are being interviewed by
people younger than you. You are applying to
positions below your level of competency, yet are having
difficulty landing a job. This is the new economy.
Workers no longer work at the same place until they
retire. Nothing is for granted any longer.
Some questions that may go through your mind:
- How to avoid age discrimination? Don't
mention your age and avoid writing things in your
resume or cover letter that will give hints about
your age. If your resume shows that you've
been working for 40 years, like it or not, you may
become victim of age discrimination, even before
having a chance to prove yourself. Ask
yourself if your earlier experience is worth
mentioning or whether there is a way to structure
your resume in a functional manner to emphasize your
skills. Have white hair? How about
colouring them if it will make you feel better about
yourself? Have a wardrobe that gives away your
age? Maybe you should go shopping for some new
clothes. Do what you can to blend in, as
opposed to standing out.
- How to overcome age discrimination? Age
discrimination is not insurmountable. If for
some reason you feel that you may be the victim of
age discrimination, ask yourself whether you want to
be the victim or whether you want to fight to prove
wrong whoever discriminates against you.
Discrimination is just a perception. You can
either confirm the other person's perception or you
can negate that perception. The power is in
your hands so don't feel helpless. As a
measure of last resort, keep in mind that if you
feel an organisation discriminates against age, you
can simply apply somewhere else. The world is
large and opportunities are everywhere. You
may encounter some bad experiences, but don't let
some bad apples taint your outlook on things.
- How to fight that perception that you are at the
end of the road? By being a fighter and being
prepared. You cannot feel discouraged.
Don't feel sorry for yourself.
- How to compete against people half your age?
Don't focus on age. Age is only one aspect of
a person. We are multifaceted, so why look at
things from only one angle?
- How to leverage your strengths? Know your
strengths and know how to market your strengths.
- How to show you are technology proficient?
If you are, then make sure to use the right language
when you talk about technology. If you're not,
then take some lessons to put you on par with the
- How to battle your ego? Ego is something
that people fabricate to protect their self-esteem.
Don't feel that people are judging you because they
probably are not. Further, the more you feel
that way, the more you will become defensive and
hard to relate to. That's not how you will
land a job. Forget about your ego, do what you
need to do. You hate applying for jobs and
attending job interviews? Get a job fast and
you won't have to deal with that anymore.