When asked about her age, a friend of mine always replies, “I feel young so my actual age is irrelevant.” If only you could put that as your birth date on a job application. The fact is, as much as we’d like to think people don’t judge candidates based on age, we know that many times employers do. Here are some smart ways to fight ageism in the workforce:
You are experienced. Walk into that interview with your head held high.
This isn’t your first rodeo. You know how to sell a prospect; what gets a contract signed and what gets you in the door. You can lead others and mentor a younger team that will relish your experience and learn from it.
Technology is your friend.
LinkedIn – utilize it. Mastering this tool debunks the theory that only young folks know how to use social media. LinkedIn is the ideal place to showcase your impressive experience. Reach out to previous employers and peers to write recommendations on your behalf. You can build a vast network because you’ve been in the workforce for years. With a comprehensive profile, you’ll garner the attention you deserve.
Time is on your side.
Most likely, your children are grown or nearly there so your personal demands are lighter than younger professionals. Not that you want to work all the time, but knowing you are available can be a big bonus for a potential employer.
You know how to do your job; you’ve been doing it for years. You get to work on time and stay until the job is done. Being older doesn’t mean you are slower, just smarter than those who are less experienced and most likely less efficient. You can get your job done quickly because you know what works and what doesn’t.
You know what makes you happy. You don’t need your employer to provide cocktail hours, counseling or field days at the workplace. You’ve already found happiness in your work, your home life and other things that fill your days.
Now stop feeling like a dinosaur and embrace who you really are – a knowledgeable, seasoned professional!