“Am I too old?”
Only if you think you are.
When you are determining your job search plan, and you happen to be on the older side, it is natural to
worry consider that your age may be an obstacle to landing your next job. That’s fine. It’s actually wise to consider all the possibilities. So consider this: you are wise and you are experienced. You paid the price for that wisdom and experience with some wrinkles… so what? Most executives are in the same boat. If the company is interviewing you then they are interested in your experience and ability to get results. That’s what you should be focusing on. If you project that your age is a concern for you… it certainly will become a concern for them.
It’s best to follow the example set by Ronald Reagan in the second Presidential Debate in 1984 with Walter Mondale.
“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” –Ronald Reagan, 1984 Presidential Debate
Don’t let age be an issue! It is too easy to blame age for your job search challenges. The truth is age bias does exist, but it is also true that at the executive level there are fewer jobs to be had, and companies have candidates that they are grooming in pipelines, especially large companies. If you’re not part of a pipeline, your best bet as an older candidate is to look to small private companies where you can wear multiple hats. If you aren’t networking your way in to an executive position you are basically throwing darts and hoping one sticks.
No matter where you look, don’t bring the concept of your age as a problem into the room. Instead, your mindset is that your outcomes will be better and faster. Keep the focus on talent, outcomes, and attributes.
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