How Do You Plan To Combat Age Discrimination in Your Life?

by on June 30, 2011

How Do You Plan To Combat Age Discrimination in Your Life?

Combat Age DiscriminationLet me make it clear from the start of this piece that I do believe age discrimination does exist.  Yes, it can be very discouraging when an opportunity such as a job opening becomes available and you don’t receive an offer.  However, for all of those who may be bypassed, there are several older individuals that stay quite active and productive in their years after 50 years of age.

What’s their secret?  What do they know or do that either makes them attractive to employers or encourages them to move forward and still stay gainfully employed?  While there are different answers for different individuals, it is likely some of these characteristics are part of how they have moved forward with their life.

  • They see themselves as capable and able to succeed and not as a victim.
  • They evaluate their strengths and talents and make sure to highlight those to all with whom they come in contact.  (NOTE:  This is not just stating how many years they performed a particular job, but what they accomplished during the period while they were working).
  • They’re flexible and adaptive toward change.  They’re able to position themselves in such a way that demonstrates they’re successful in learning new skills.
  • They’re able to answer the question, “What am I passionate about?” and go for it.
  • They have confidence they can succeed and envision it.
  • They keep their enthusiasm and energy levels high by maintaining a sense of humor.
  • They remain current, reading trade magazines, enrolling in classes, attending conferences and joining associations.

And, most importantly,

  • They accept the fact that there are organizations that won’t hire them because they are older, but instead of fighting them or getting depressed about it, they’re proactive and redirect their energy toward discovering people and companies that welcome mature workers.

In spite of today’s difficult economic conditions and high unemployment rates, the fact remains that the American population is aging.  That in turn will mean there will be a need for workers at older ages than has been traditional in the years to come.  Those older workers who will fill those positions in addition to possessing many of the traits bulleted above will also be armed with one other item.  They will develop a strategy that will help them to let potential employers know who they are and what they offer.  They’ll be active in their job search as opposed to sitting back and waiting for openings to come to them.  Additionally, they’ll assess what they have done in the past, determined what motivated them, look forward to see what they want for their future, and look to bring those characteristics into a position they’ll pursue.

Those with a strategy will include as part of it:

  • Conducting extensive research on career opportunities open to them, learning what is required, and what they must learn to be qualified in that field.  They’ll take the initiative to network both directly with those they know or write to companies looking to introduce themselves and make them aware of what they can offer.
  • They’ll learn how to position themselves both verbally and in writing on their resume’, highlighting the key things they want a prospective employer to know about them.
  • They’ll stay optimistic, realizing that rejection letters does not measure their success but instead the number of people with whom they get to interview, (and interview with multiple times), as they pursue the position they want.

Yes, conducting a job search is difficult and when done thoroughly where you are taking charge of every aspect of your search, (as opposed to sitting back and letting a headhunter alert you to openings, or just posting resumes for every opening on the Internet), is a lot of work.  However, that’s true whether you are 35 or 55.  It’s certainly true in more difficult economic conditions.  And, it is likely to continue to stay that way in the world around us even if economic conditions improve as certain industries wind down and new ones open up.  For older workers, if they can get past the assumption that they don’t have a chance to work productively in their older years before they even start to mount their search, there is a world of opportunity available to those who choose to seek it out.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Posterous
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: