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July 2, 2020
While your age should not matter when it comes to jobs, research indicates that age discrimination is a real and measurable thing.
This is bad news to the masses of Americans in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who want to keep working. A retirement job or a delayed retirement is a huge part of many people’s retirement plans.
Research abounds that documents age discrimination. Nearly 2 out of 3 workers ages 45 and older have seen or experienced age discrimination on the job, according to the results of an AARP workplace survey from 2018.
A study from 2017 from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that older workers, especially women, experience age discrimination in hiring. Researchers created 40,000 realistic but fictitious resumes for applicants to a variety of jobs. The resumes listed identical backgrounds–only differing by age and gender. The study found that older workers got fewer callbacks–a call to interview for the job–than younger applicants:
Age discrimination happens in many different ways:
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that protects workers and job applicants age 40 and over from age-based discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offers additional information and services to victims of age discrimination.
It is important to note that study after study has found that there is no real basis for age discrimination. If you feel you can do the job, there is nothing about your age that says you can not and there is research to back you up. Cognitive thinking, commitment, productivity, reliability, work ethic, creativity, organization, writing, problem solving and other key job skills do not wane with age alone.
According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 77% of employer’s are using social networks to find applicants. And, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn.
Sure, you’ve got pages of experience, but don’t make the hiring manager wade through your life history. Keep your resume short, sweet, and to the point.
Knowing someone–or knowing someone who knows someone–is the best way to get a job. And, luckily, networking has never been easier. Get yourself on LinkedIn and expand your network exponentially.
If you are flexible and open to learning new things and accepting feedback and change, then you should be okay. If you are having a hard time, look for a workshop or career counselor who could help you.
Find out as much as you can about the person interviewing you, the job, the company and the industry. Go to the interview prepared.
Rumor has it that lots of companies will pay “over 50s” good pay for experience—as long as they are not full-time and eligible for health insurance.
There are numerous organizations designed to help older job applicants find work.
Payscales shift and change. Depending on the job you are seeking, you should have realistic expectations for your compensation. It may be lower than you would like.
More and more older Americans are becoming entrepreneurs–starting their own businesses and becoming their own bosses with their years of experience.
If you are still working and want to keep your job as you age, here are a few tips:
Intellectual curiosity will help you get a job, as well as keep a job. Keep learning. While you probably have a lot of experience, always ask questions.
It is important that you keep your enthusiasm for your job and be willing to embrace change and new ideas.
Know what is important about your job and focus on that.
Stories abound about people getting Botox injections and dying their hair to try to give the appearance of being young at work. However, these treatments can sometimes highlight age rather than mask it. Be yourself and remember why they hired you to begin with. If you do a good job and deliver what is expected — or more — then your age really should not matter.
Abundant data show that they’re reliable, handle stress well, master new skills and are the most engaged of all workers when offered the chance to grow and advance on the job. Older people might take longer to accomplish a given task, but they make fewer mistakes. They take longer to recover from injury but hurt themselves less often. It’s a wash. Motivation and effort affect output far more than age does.”
It is important for you to maintain good relationships with your supervisors and co-workers.
The world is changing pretty quickly. No matter your industry or the type of job you are seeking, you need to stay current. Keep learning new things.
If you are worried about age discrimination, think through your options carefully. Stay connected to other companies where you might be able to work and think about what you would do if you lost your job. Can you consult? Start your own company? Find another job? Or, might you be ready and prepared to retire?
Knowing that your current job and job prospects have a somewhat precarious nature to them, it is important to have a good retirement plan in place. You should know what you have and what you need for a secure future.
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