Monday, November 7, 2011

Fighting Age Discrimination

I know more than a couple people of a certain age who are discouraged about finding new or better jobs.

"There are so many 20-somethings out there looking for work!" they exclaim, with the implication being that not only are the youngsters better-versed in technology, they're also willing to work on the cheap.

"But you bring so much experience and authority to your field," I reply, knowing deep down that some employers don't want either quality in their employees. (Makes them too difficult to boss around and exploit, I'm afraid.)

Anyway, the difficulty is out there, so I thought I would share some tips for avoiding age discrimination, from career coach and author Ford R. Myers. Take a look after the jump. 

1. Maintain a high level of energy and project real vitality. This allows you to take on challenging projects, keep up with the fast pace of business, and get things done efficiently. So make sure you exercise to stay fit, show-up early, move fast throughout the day, and work hard.
2.  Leverage technology skills. Employers are much more likely to hire mature workers who can demonstrate strong computer skills and possess a comfort level with technology.
3. Pay extra attention to your personal image. First impressions count. Make a deliberate, consistent effort to present yourself in the best light. Now is the ideal time to take stock of your appearance, and adjust your "look" to be more current and stylish.
4. Pursue a temporary, part-time, or contract position. Volunteer, provide pro bono work, take on a consulting contract, or complete an internship or apprenticeship.
"You can't change your chronological age, so don't waste mental energy thinking about it. Older workers who understand that their maturity and expertise are assets are more likely to land the job they want in the long run," adds Myers.

Copyright (C) 2011, Career Potential, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it includes the following attribution: Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Coach and author of "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring." Download your free bonuses now at


  1. One thing that is vital - do not project bitterness about being out of work at a certain age, desperation, or any grudge towards the last employer who laid you off.

    Yes, it's frustrating to be job-hunting, and it's hard not be to become discouraged and feel negative, but somehow, you've got to roll that in a ball and stick it at the back of the drawer. Because when given a choice between Debbie Downer and Pollyanna, even if Debbie's got more experience and a stronger skillset, *I* for one don't want to share an office with her every day.

  2. Yes, absolutely, Beverly - everything you said is just right.

  3. Great post, Karen. Attitude's so important to think about but who'd have thought about cute clothes?!

  4. I know, it's interesting how much you can age yourself by dressing out-of-date or sloppy.

  5. Yeah. I would never go to an interview sloppy, but I have a few "classics" I could leave behind.

  6. Hee, hee, I have a few "classics" myself!