1. Know the stereotype and confront it
Stereotypes exist for workers of all ages. Generally speaking, younger workers are considered:
- Physically more able and healthy
- Easier to supervise
- Lower salary expectations
- Willing to use new technology
While mature workers are considered:
- Have good practical knowledge
You might think that the best strategy is to accentuate the positive qualities associated with your age group. According to the experts cited in the BBC article, this is the worst possible strategy. Prospective employers will already assume that you offer loyalty, stability, etc. and saying so will just reinforce the negative biases as well. What employers don't know (unless you tell them) is that you are creative, energetic, comfortable with new technology, etc. These "young" qualities are exactly the types of things you will want to emphasize.
2. Don't stereotype yourself
Whether you are in or out of work, push to receive training to keep up with important trends. Technology has become a critical element of almost every industry. If there is something you are not comfortable with then get comfortable with it--even if it means asking your kids!
3. Try something new
Don't feel that you must stay in the same industry you just left. While it's true that your relationships and experience are most applicable to the same industry, if your industry is contracting you might be forced to look outward. Odds are you have skills that are transferable to other industries and industries that are growing are more apt to hire from outside.
Free:49 Benefits of Hiring An Older Skilled Worker. Learn More.Click here to read part 2 of this article