If you’re older than 50 (or even near it), and are looking for work, you’ve not doubt found it harder to find a new position than you ever did when younger.
Age discrimination is illegal, but it does exist.
And that’s unfortunate, not only for the over-50 job seeker but also for employers who refuse to consider the maturity, skills and expertise, and – yes – even wisdom that older job candidates bring to the table.
Why do employers ignore – or even discriminate against – older job seekers? Because of the many myths that refuse to go away. Myths such as
- Older workers can’t learn new things.
- Older workers are too set in their ways and won’t be able to get along with younger workers.
- Older workers will get ill too often and cause our insurance rates to rise.
- Older workers will demand more money.
And so on.
How can you, as an older job seeker, counteract these negative perceptions? Read below for some suggestions.
- You’ll want to be sure you make a good first impression, and that first impression should be that you’re energetic, professional, dynamic, and up-to-the-minute. So you’ll want to be sure your health is as good as it can be and that you exude energy.
- You need to show that you’re skilled in new technologies. Since you’ll more than likely be interviewing with someone younger than you, you should have specific examples of how you’ve mastered new technologies that are applicable to your industry. You’ll also want to provide examples of your flexibility when it comes to working with people from different generations.
- You’ve no doubt mastered several important workplace skills over the years: problem solving, people management, leadership, and good judgment. Provide specific success stories that showed how you utilized these skills recently.
Smaller companies are far more numerous than large companies, so you’d do well to concentrate your search with smaller firms. Smaller firms also seem to be much less concerned about age and they appreciate how the experience and wisdom you’ve gained over the years can benefit them.
People of all ages looking for work in Anchorage, Seattle, Tacoma, Chicago, Lake Oswego, and Portland should register with their local branch of the Opti Staffing Group. We can help you find great positions with some of these cities’ top employers. Contact us today.