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.)
While 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.
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.
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