A 63-year-old man keeps sending out resumes. A well-meaning newspaper column advises him on tips to “overcome age discrimination.”
I say, “Good luck.”
By definition, discrimination can’t be overcome. It’s not rational. It’s not based on facts.
And, quite bluntly, corporate executives have no reason to hire older workers. Often they make what appears to be a rational decision: Forty years of experience may simply not be worth tens of thousands of dollars above the entry-level or even mid-level.
For anyone over 50, the only way to stay employed is to use your network, if you have one. Building a new network is do-able but takes time, energy and (if you’re female) a heavy investment in make-up, salons and wardrobe consultants.
Another way is to consider self-employment. I suspect many business license applications are made by what I call reluctant entrepreneurs — those who would rather continue working for someone else, if they could find a job where they’d gain responsibility, challenge and (most of all) reward for recognition.
Even the author of The Age Advantage had trouble finding true advantages to aging.
Click here to see my review.
But…overcome prejudice? Despite laws on the books, we still see instances of discrimination based on race, religion, sex and even weight. Age will always be a tougher challenge.
I’d say turn your back on jobs and take charge of your own life. It’s tough but not impossible. I can point you in the right direction and suggest resources. Check out the Career Strategy Session.