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Age Discrimination: Old is Obsolete

August 14th, 2015

Age discrimination. I hate it.

When I speak, it is the number one issue that every audience is concerned about.

When I was in my job search, nine years ago, I was too old to be a young person who would take a lower salary, and too young to be experienced enough. I was in the middle of two age discrimination points. I learned that no matter how good I thought I was, and how awesome my credentials and potential were, age was going to keep me out of opportunities.

In a job search seminar, the speaker said that the best way to address age discrimination in an interview was to address specific issues head on.  Like: “Just so you know, I don’t need to be on the company health care plan because … ”  Or, “Usually someone with my experience and accomplishments would make around $xx,xxx, but I am at a point in my career, and with my personal finances where I am looking for a job where I can really contribute to the company, and I am looking for compensation in the $yy,yyyy to $zz,zzz range” (where that range is lower than what the interviewer is assuming).  I’m sure those phrases need finessing, but the speaker’s point was, instead of letting the interviewer ASSUME things, based on your age, address the issues head on and move on to more important things, like how you can excel at the role and bring value to the company.

What do you think?  Is that too brash?

Here’s a BlueSteps article that includes a bunch of phrases you can use to communicate, or at least rethink, the value you bring, when you might otherwise be focusing on your age: Brains, Brawn and Bravado: Employing Your Endurance and Experience to Overcome Ageism

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