Age. When we were kids we couldn’t wait to grow up. Now that we’re all grown up, many of us with adult children of our own, are starting to see our age as a disadvantage. How can that be?! With a few decades of experience, shouldn’t we be in high demand? After all, we’ve been there done that, seen it all, several times. Our experience should make us highly sought after if we happen to hit the job market… that’s what logic would make one think anyway.
The reality is that the over-50 job seeker sees their age as a roadblock in a job search. In our January survey of over 1,200 executives, only 15 percent thought being over 50 would not hurt their chances to find a new job. Among the over-60 job seekers that number dropped to 9 percent. It did not matter if the person was in search now or thinking hypothetically, the views on age remained the same.
There are many reasons why there is an over-50 age bias. They include perceptions of low energy, likely to have a superior attitude, inflexible, coasting to retirement, outdated technical skills, and health concerns. While people tend to get caught up in age discrimination as an easy excuse for why one isn’t getting offers, it’s more likely companies can find someone to do the job for less money.
Searching for a job when over 50 doesn’t have to be daunting. Your age can be your biggest advantage in a job search! In a recent session of ExecuNet Master Class, Dr. Jean Erickson Walker, author of The Age Advantage: Making the Most of Your Midlife Career Transition, presented the 2016 version of one of our historically most popular master classes on overcoming age bias in job search. She shared techniques and strategies for revving-up your job search mojo to today’s new workplace reality for over-50 job seekers, and how to turn your age into your greatest advantage.
Take control of your career! Watch Getting the Job You Want When You’re Over 50 to learn how to turn the tables and become the candidate in demand.
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