Job Search Myth 1.02: If You’re Over 50, Quit Looking

Executive Job Search Myth Buster
Time for another Executive Job Search MythBuster, and it’s a good one:


“If you’re past 50 and thinking of a career switch, forget it.”


Midlife executives will tell you that age discrimination, although tough to prove, is very real. If you’re one of them, then you know the stereotypes:

  • “She’s over 50, so she’ll only want to work here for a short time compared with younger people.”

(In many cases, the exact opposite is true: The midlife executive tends to be more loyal and stick around longer than, say, your typical millennial worker who is moving around to acquire new skills.)

  • “He’s over 50, so he will be less productive than younger executives.”

(Of course, this is rubbish. Many midlife workers have an enviable get-up-and-go attitude. Not to mention the track records to prove it.)

  • “She’s overqualified. We can’t pay her enough.”

(If you suspect salary will be a barrier, follow this tip: Draw the hiring manager’s attention to the financial advantages of hiring you. Use specific examples from your earlier experiences to show how you increased revenue generation, or cut costs, or otherwise helped other organizations realize increased savings.)

happy-green-dragonWhile age bias is real, the good news for midlife workers is that employers are mostly focused on the need for adept people who can get stuff done.

My Advice:


It’s up to you to find ways to avoid letting your age be an automatic disqualifier to your next career opportunity. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can focus the hiring manager on your many pluses and advantages. Prove to her you have the right attitude, a high level of enthusiasm, and most important a record of outstanding results. Get personal: make a genuine connection with someone your possible next boss knows or respects. That person will help the boss see you for the great talent you really are.

Create an “age-proof” résumé and LinkedIn profile that showcase your passion and your ability to deliver the results your possible next boss is looking for. If you’re interested in some personal help, let me know. I can refer you to an amazing coach, and the initial consultation won’t cost you a thing.

It is possible to land a great executive position after age 50 if you show that you’re the best person for the job. Here are more tips for navigating a midlife career change.

I hope you’re blessed with many opportunities today.


Anthony Vlahos

Anthony Vlahos

Tony Vlahos is the Chief Marketing Officer of ExecuNet. Since 2014, he has hosted the original web series ExecuNet Master Class. Tony interviews the world’s top business thinkers, writers, and leaders.

2 Replies to "Job Search Myth 1.02: If You're Over 50, Quit Looking"

  • William Flamme
    January 2, 2019 (11:04 am)

    I am sorry you are experiencing age related challenges in your job search. You are not alone. So many executives have run into similar challenges. We’ve found it helps the over-50 job seeker to focus on smaller, privately owned companies. Create a list of target companies within this space, identify where their pain points may be and create a plan for how you can help. Tap your network for a personal introduction to someone on the management team. If you have no contacts with a connection to any of your target companies, try and find opportunities to comment on their online posts and join the same LinkedIn groups they belong to. You may gain their notice and could possibly engage in a conversation.

    Also, we’ve found it beneficial to identify the management team. Look for companies with executives in your age range. You will fit in and they won’t be put off by you being over 50. Smaller companies are a good idea because they tend to be more open to older executives. Smaller companies have fewer layers of management and therefore need executives who can wear many hats. Someone who is more experienced can step into such a situation with ease.

    If you would like personal help, reach out to our Career Services Group for a free initial consultation. You can learn more here:

  • Denise Johnson
    January 2, 2019 (7:48 am)

    Do you really believe you can over ride the age bias? I do all the things you advise but keep hitting walls.