Over 55s – unite and conquer!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of U.S workers 55 and over will grow from its 1998 level of 12% to a whopping 24% in 2018.  In twenty years, our representation in the labor force will double!  Why does this matter?

As a career counselor, one of the questions I’m asked most often is “can you help overcome age discrimination?”

Well, I do have a few strategies to suggest, but no, I can’t really make others’ opinions change.  Wish I could.

But think of it.  If our numbers double within a twenty-year period, don’t you think assumptions will change?  We’ll be on our way to a new definition of normal.  It used to be that greying hair was reason not to aim for or expect that promotion.  It meant becoming more certain that our new supervisors would be younger.  Now I think we’re within reach of being valued for our expertise, our institutional memory, our sense of perspective.

Illustration:  I recently mentioned that a young person I know is looking for a job and would be perfect for a certain position opening.  The screener said, “No, we’re looking for an older person for that job.  The work ethic will be better.”

Have the glory days arrived?  Or is that just a taste of what is to come?  I know that stereotypes are generally proven to be inaccurate, but I was surprised to hear that in at least one workplace, there is a belief in the value of the older worker. We live in exciting times!

Now about those ways of minimizing age discrimination in interviews…contact me! (www.anneheadley.com)

2 Responses to “Over 55s – unite and conquer!”

  1. Maureen Anderson Says:

    There’s an Anne Headley-approved way to address the issue of age in my blog post entitled “anticipate an objection” —


    — and I’m guessing Anne’s as eager to hear from people who try it as I am!

    • anneheadley Says:

      Interesting that we’re both addressing questions of ageing. I think your current posting (excellent, by the way) is a great strategy, and this little article is about the big picture. Jobhunters over 50 should consider both perspectives.

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