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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Share Now: What Not to Say to Older Co-Workers

4 Ageist Phrases to Quit Saying at The Office

from U.S. News & World Report
(Editor's Note) As people delay retirement, It is becoming more important to bridge the gap between generations at the workplace. In this article in U.S.News and World Report, Susannah Snider discusses how thoughtless comments made by co-workers can be ageist and hurtful. Although the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is in place to protect older workers, it cannot prevent an occasional dig by a younger colleague when it comes to technical skills or trends.Ageist comments make people feel devalued,  they lose confidence, and work performance can be affected.
The author identifies 4 common phrases that should be avoided:
1. "You're overqualified." This statement, typically lobbed at job applicants, "is almost always code for 'You're too old,'" says Joanna Lahey, associate professor at Texas A&M University and expert on age discrimination and the relationship between age and labor market outcomes...
2. "Don't worry, you don't need to take that computer training class." Employees should avoid the assumption that older workers are technological dinosaurs who can't learn new skills.
Seasoned employees are assumed to be "adverse to change, that they won't take on new technologies," says Jessica Kriegel, author of "Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit From Ditching Generational Stereotypes." "But it's often older workers who are implementing the changes to the technology."
FREE WEBINAR: “5 Simple Tips to Beat Age Discrimination” Register Here

10 Tough Q & A's for Older Workers

You have the "perfect job" interview tomorrow. Your skills and experience look as if they match the job description. But have you practiced your answers to potential questions? Guess what it is more than likely that some of the other potential job candidates did. So grab a mirror and do a dress rehearsal. It will help demonstrate to a potential employer a sense of mastery and confidence. (Editor's Note)

"These 10 questions are examples of some you might be asked. Not all of them are overtly age-related. But each one gives you an opportunity to present yourself as a skilled, energetic worker who brings high value to an employer.

1. Tell me about yourself. Make your answer short and sweet. Stick to experiences and goals that relate to the specific job for which you’re applying. Resist the impulse to stress your years of experience. It’s more important to talk about your skills and achievements that show you can deliver. Emphasize your flexibility and positive attitude.

2. Why are you looking for a job? Keep it brief. A straightforward answer is best. For example, “My organization was forced to downsize.” Avoid negative statements about yourself, your work, or your ability to get along with others. Never criticize former employers or coworkers.

3. You haven’t worked for a long time. Why not? You may have gaps in employment for many reasons. Be honest. Speak confidently about your experiences during the gaps. Some could transfer to on-the-job skills. For instance, if you were a caregiver, you managed complex financial issues. As a volunteer, you might have worked with diverse groups and on flexible schedules.

4. What are you looking for? It takes a lot of thinking to be ready for this question. Don’t speak in generalities. Be prepared to name the type of position you think would be appropriate for you and how your skills would translate to a new employer.

5. Aren’t you overqualified for this position? Even though “overqualified” can be shorthand for “old” or “expensive,” it’s important to stay positive. Express your enthusiasm for the job and pride in your qualifications. Explain what makes you interested in this position at this point in your career—such as wanting to apply your skills to a new field or to achieve more flexibility and work-life balance.

6. We have state-of-the-art technology. Would you be able to jump right in? Show you are adaptable and tech-savvy. Give examples of projects you’ve done which required computer skills and familiarity with electronic media. Emphasize training you’ve taken to keep your skills up to date.

7. We don’t have many employees who are your age. Would that bother you? Explain that you believe your age would be an asset, you are eager to learn, and it doesn’t matter who helps you. Describe recent experiences, whether at work or in other situations, where age diversity has been an asset. Federal law bars employers from considering age in employment decisions. Though it’s not illegal to be asked your age, the question could be a red flag about the employer’s commitment to age diversity. Know your rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

8. What’s your biggest weakness? This is a reverse invitation to toot your own horn. Do it with an answer that puts you in a good light. For example, “I’m too detail-oriented, but I work hard to control that.” Keep it simple—and smile.

9. What are your salary requirements? Try to postpone this question until a job offer has been made. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area (sites like Salary.com can help). If you don’t know the range and the interviewer persists, reply, “What salary range are you working with?” The interviewer may very well tell you.

10. Do you have any questions? Show your interest and initiative by asking specific questions about the organization and what you can expect in the job. Use your questions to demonstrate how your skills can contribute to the organization. Answering “no” to this question says you’re not really interested in the job."  More Information see: AARP.org

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Staying Focused During the Holidays

"What if Christmas doesn't come from a store.What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The end-of-year  holidays, that magical time of the year… But if you have been out of work and looking for a job for months, the holidays can also be that most hopeless time of the year. There don’t seem to be as many job opportunities, or people aren't available to interview or take calls. 

Must your life go on hold? And then there’s the gifts, the entertaining, the decorating.
You do not have to go down that road. Energize yourself with the spirit of the season -  joy,  gratitude, good friends, and family. 

Here are some things you can do to participate and keep up your momentum into 2017:
  •   Continue your job search. Do not give up. The resume that you submit in December may not get read until January, but it WILL get there. Create you own Personal-Job-Search.
  •  Go to parties and get-togethers. They are great for networking, meeting new people, keeping your spirits up. 
  • Worried about gifts – DIY! People don’t expect lavish gifts and what’s better than something made with love. Do you bake, knit, paint or like photography?
  • Consider having a potluck. Have everyone bring a dish and have your own party! BYOB!
  • Take a stroll downtown or in your neighborhood with friends and family to look at the beautiful lights and/or window displays.
  • Remember to exercise to keep your mind clear and your energy high.
 Make the last weeks of 2016 count and look forward to 2017. These are YOUR holidays, too - ENJOY!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Older Workers-New Technology: YES THEY CAN

NEW Survey Debunks OLD Stereotype

For years, a stereotype has been fostered by the media, and now social media, that older people are just not that savvy when it comes to new technology. 

This false perception contributes to age discrimination that affects the older job seeker.

Two companies,  DROPBOX and Ipsos Mori, have surveyed more than 4,000 information workers in the U.S. and Europe about their use of technology in the workplace. 

The survey has revealed that workers aged 55+ are actually less stressed using technology in the workplace than their younger peers. The results also showed that older workers are actually BETTER at using multiple devices than their younger peers - only 13% of respondents aged 55+  reported having trouble working with multiple devices compared to 37% of 18-to-34-year olds.

If you are an older job seeker, don't PERPETUATE the stereotype of the obsolete older worker. Be sure to keep your skills AND resume up-to-date. Create your killer resume HERE.

If you haven't been in the job market lately, it might not be your job skills holding you back but your JOB HUNTING skills. CLICK HERE for a free assessment.

"5 Simple Tips to Beat Age Discrimination During a Job Search" Live Event - REGISTER HERE