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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Easy Ways to Beat Negative Stereotypes as an Older Worker (pt. II)

4. Look after yourself

While your focus will be on finding a new job, this is a particularly important time to be looking after yourself. You will want to present an image of being "healthy, motivated and confident" and the best way to do this is to be these. You should be eating well, exercising, and keeping in touch with contacts and friends. Now is the time to be networking even more than when you were employed. (LifeTwo recommends the book "Never Eat Alone" for networking tips).

5. Appearance matters
Appearance really does matter in job interviews. For mature workers you will want to once again confront the stereotype of being an older person. This doesn't mean dressing to look young, but instead looking up-to-date and modern. The BBC article also emphasizes the importance of not coming off as condescending if interviewed by a younger person and make sure the interviewer walks away with the feeling that you are at ease working with people of all ages.

6. Don't let the process get to you

Make no mistake about it, looking for a job (regardless of your age) is a grind. Make the best of it and understand that it is numbers game. The more resumes you put in the hands of qualified people and the more interviews you go on, the higher the likelihood you will get a job.

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Click here to read part 1 of this article

Source: BBChttp://lifetwo.com/production/node/20070621-what-s-happening-with-employment-opportunities-for-the-older-worker


  1. Nicely done. I did a series on geek stereotypes in the workplace here (http://www.fantopro.com/blog/stereotype-fu/) and this reminded me quite a bit of that series.

    One thing I find works is to find a way to own the stereotype and re-create it as positive. You're not "old" you're "seasoned", or "you walk between both experience and innovation" or something else.

    Dealing with stereotypes really is a kind of personal branding effort - so you need to take control and decide how you'll be regarded - and how to deal with - or even use or repurpose - the stereotypes you face.

  2. Thanks for the information.

    Just an FYI, I strongly suggest having someone else proofread your articles before posting them. One thing all writers know is that we cannot proofread our own work! Spellcheck does not catch everything either.
    (Example: you wrote "extenuate", which is spelled correctly, but you mean to write "accentuate".)

    I hope I've helped you as much as you have with your otherwise fine article.

    Best of success,

  3. Good article and followup comments. Quick note: substituting "seasoned" for "old" won't work - it's equivalent.

  4. Your blog looks like shit. it's pretty clear that you are more interested in making money from ads then you are in providing useful content. You need to work with someone who has some graphic design and web usability skills. It's so hypocritical of you to post an article like this discussing the importance of preventing a youthful image and understanding technology, on a site like this.

  5. Anonymous. We are working on it. thanks for your colorful language. BTW Check out our new Beta Design. Love to have you rip us a new a----e. Your critique is welcome.

  6. Hi, I liked the article. I was thinking on the very same topic as I am over 4o and unfortunately in the market for a job once again! Its very infuriating to encounter the mindblocks people have against older candidates. I remember when I was 30+ and interviewed a man who was 47. I recruited him without a bias. But now there are these 20 somethings who scan the CV's before selecting a few for their bosses to look thru; and they reject you straight off! So the job goes to some useless or near incompetent young guy, simply because he is YOUNG! I would have thought that as a recruiter my primary consideration would be to get the best, most qualified and competent person for the job! But no, it isnt that any longer - the main consideration seems to be - Is he young? Can he grow with us? Will he stay several years with us? Has it not entered anyone's head that a younger guy is more likely to jump at the slightest opportunity?!
    I am a learner and I have learned online advertising on my own in the last year while being unemployed. I have met scores of young people but have yet to find one who is as keen to learn and as open-minded and hungry as I am. The youth of today are just not hungry (I'm referring to youth in India); our educational system kills off all such instincts. Most of them only have paper degrees but no knowledge or practical wisdom. Despite all this, the older guys are restricted rejected off-hand, point blank at the very beginning - "Candidates above 36 yrs need not apply". So what should be do? Just die??
    Or perhaps we should do something that youngsters do in the US - take a rifle and go on a shooting spree? is that youthful enough for you?? huh?
    Anyway, nice article.

  7. How can the act of age discrimination be policed, or guarded against? Should the interview be recorded as a protection mechanism? I think we're coming to that bend in the road. Companies must be held accountable when they do this to 5)+ year old workers.

  8. Old above 40? Try above 50 or 60, that's old !

  9. Try being over 40 with red hair. If you think age is a bias, just look at the derogatory term 'ginger'. Or the joke that Trey Parker and Matt Stone used for people with red hair that now has morphed into what Colbert termed truthiness. All I did was earn multiple degrees, learned all I could about a variety of subjects and here I sit with less than 5 interviews in 5 years.

  10. When you ARE working, save your money, so that when you´re NOT working, you have the confidence that having a wad will give you. Confidence will improve your health, mental and physical, and your chances of landing a job will be better. Saving money may hurt the economy, but don't worry about the other guy´s 7 or 15 or 25% umemployment. When you´re unemployed, it´s 100% unemployment for you, mate.

  11. Dear all, I have been facing this fact form quite a long time. In the last interview, it came to the point when the big question arised: what is your family status? (in order to figure out my capacity to relocate), when I mentioned that I didn't have any trouble for relocationg because I didn't have dependants, they asked me why. So, I mentioned that I don't have a life partner and my only child is married with children, therfore, they did the math and latter on I received a thanking letter but no. What to do in these kind of situation? hide these kind of facts? lie to the interviewer? They do not dare to ask directly you age, but find out ways to learn about it.


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