“Age Bias,” has become somewhat of a buzz word associated with job seekers over a given age, but let’s call it for what it is…Age Discrimination. There I feel better now.
When does it begin ?
It’s been my experience that age discrimination starts rearing its ugly head when one is over 40 years of age and not 50 as is widely believed.
Does age discrimination exist ? I know it does, at least to some degree.
In fact, as an Executive Search Professional, I once had a new client (a household corporate name you would know) who screamed obscenities into my phone and further threatened to fire my search firm; if in the future we sent them anyone 40 or older.
What was their (twisted) rationale ?
“People over 40 simply do not have enough (runway) left in their career to advance far in this company,” they were quoted as saying to me. By the way, this was the belief and a rigid mandate set forth by the company’s Regional President who ironically enough was closing in on 60 !
Did my firm get fired ?
No, I fired the client because it is both wrong and illegal. Now before anyone asks, when we took on this new client, they neglected to mention that they discriminated based on age. I can only assume that they were accustomed to working with recruiters who would look the other way; they must have assumed that my firm would do likewise.
Did I try to “educate” this Regional President as to the consequences of being convicted of Age Discrimination ?
Yes I did, and to no avail. His response was short and sweet, “That’s what our lawyers are for and that is the end of this discussion.” Oh well, that just goes to show that not “everyone” in a position of authority will modify their moral compass even if at their own peril.
So, how do the “more experienced” workers over 40 gain meaningful employment ?
First and foremost, even though you “feel” you may have been a victim of age discrimination it does not mean you in fact were. Let’s face it; on a national basis, this is likely the most competitive job market we have seen in our times. You may have been a casualty due to the sheer numbers of unemployed people you are competing with. Then again you may have been competing with a Guerrilla !
If you are a job seeker over 40 or over 50 for that matter, here are seven rock-solid proven points to seriously consider while looking for your next gig:
- Your resume and cover letter must quickly and clearly articulate your value in that it addresses an employers primary pain points; no great revelation here except for the fact that very few people can skillfully do it.
- Approach your search with an absolute goal in mind that goes above and beyond just getting “another” job.
- Remember that what YOU want is of no significance to a potential employer.
- Humanizing your job search is a cradle to grave undertaking, you must do so throughout the ENTIRE process.
- It is of the essence that you’re talking and meeting with “yes” people.
- Don’t be a nuisance, but be “imaginatively” persistent with potential new employers.
- Networking, be it direct or indirect is still the number one proven way to land a new job. Learning to socially engineer your way into a new position will pay off.
If I were to describe a “typical” Guerrilla Job Boot Camper,” they would be over 40 (or 50) and of course unemployed when they joined us; as a best guess I would have to say that less than 1% of our boot campers have been under 40 years of age.
Go here to WATCH several short videos and see what these people did to overcome (either) real or imaged Age Discrimination. You’ll note that not one of them is under 40 !
Have a Great Guerrilla Day !
Mark J. Haluska