I recently saw a group of young kids talking excitedly on the train. I was absentmindedly watching them and listening to their conversation. I'm 50, and I was interested because it was one of those moments where I wanted to hear what high school kids were all about these days. Then one of them mentioned Amazon. It turned out they were all Amazon developers. I swear to god I thought they were 16!!! Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the things I have worked for, but I've never felt so old at 50 in my life, haha! Anyone else feeling their age all of a sudden as they look for a job?
As an older job seeker this made me feel good. According to a study I found it said older workers are as productive as any other age group, and that statistically older worker tends to be more loyal and stick around longer than the younger worker. YESSSSS!!! I personally think the younger worker likes to move around so they can acquire new skills...and I can’t blame them. It’s good for their resumes.
I think a lot of employers feel that older job seekers expect higher salaries or are overqualified, but I for one am happy and willing to go back to a position I had a few years ago! If it gets me back to doing the work I am qualified for and that I actually WANT to do why not? There are so many stereotypes out there, but you know what? I push against them because I know that I am worth way more than my age!!!
I was rather shocked recently when a potential employer asked if I could provide my age. I think it was quite clear that I was an older candidate. Of course in my shock I didn't do what was sensible and I ended up providing my age. The interviewer asked why I was reluctant at first. I wanted to keep things civil rather than saying "This is illegal!" so I just said that it was "unconventional." Should I have just told her, "I would prefer not to disclose my age?" I don't get why age is such a big deal. I could kick ass at ANY job!
Has a potential (or existing) employer ever asked you for your graduation year? If so, you are NOT alone. This may seem like a harmless question, but chances are the employer is trying to determine your age. Here are some things you should know and what you can do!
-What employers CAN ask The Age Discrimination in Employment Act does NOT prohibit an employer from asking about an applicant’s (or employee’s age), or from asking other questions that may help the employer determine a person’s age such as when you graduated high school or college. It is currently legal for them to inquire.
-What they CAN’T do It is however 100% illegal for the employer to take that information (graduation date, age, etc) and then discriminate based on that individual’s age. For example, saying “You are too old for this role.”
-Is this happening to OTHER people According to AARP, two out of three workers between ages 45 and 74 say they have seen or experienced age discrimination at work, and job seekers over age 35 cite it as a top obstacle to getting hired. If you happen to work in the high-tech or entertainment industries, your chances of experiencing age discrimination are even higher.
-What YOU can do Unfortunately, you cannot prevent someone from inquiring about your age. If they truly want to know they will likely ask, but if they do, answer honestly and with confidence. Make sure your skills are updated and clearly show in your resume that you can take on the role before you even apply. If your skills aren’t current, take a class or two and be prepared before you apply. When in doubt if you feel the company just might not be right for you, do your research! Check out [this post] (https://www.jobcase.com/conversations/d98a6946-b042-5278-8899-45b1326fd186) on how to determine a company’s culture, and learn more about how to defeat ageism [HERE] (https://www.jobcase.com/conversations/aaf4f67d-20de-5386-b129-a47d2fa9b8e8).