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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So How Old Are You? Things You Can/Can't Do About Age Bias:

You’re in the middle of a job interview and the recruiter or prospective employer asks, “So, how old are you?”

What do you think when you read this scenario? Let me guess that you are probably caught off guard and thoughts are racing through your head. “Can they really ask me that?” you wonder.

If you are like the majority of age 50+ job seekers, I’ll wager you answered yourself with a resounding, “No.”

And asserting that, you would be wrong.

While it may fly in the face of what you know about the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and on top of that be outright rude, the question itself is legal.

You should know before an interview how you’ll react and what you’ll say when asked about your age. Much of what we believe we know about age discrimination is vague and ambiguous. That’s bad news for age 50+ workers. Our opinions about age bias can influence our behavior during a job search and after we become employed. While it’s important to understand the principles of age-discrimination law, it is more important to figure out how to deal with it out in the world.

Age bias in hiring and employment may be the last socially acceptable form of discrimination. While the ADEA makes age-based discrimination in hiring, pay, benefits, training, advancement, and termination illegal, many people over the age of 50, and increasingly older than 40, believe that age bias still exists and affects them.

Research from two recent studies conducted by RetirementJobs.com and AARP confirms that between 80 and 95 percent of people over age 50 believe that “age bias is a fact of life.” The published statistics about actual age-discrimination claims, however, don’t support common perceptions about the extent and power of age bias. All this is not to minimize concerns about age bias. I want you to think about what you can and cannot do about the reality, or self-fulfilling perceptions, of perceived age bias.

Here are five things you can’t do about discriminatory employer behavior or decisions:

Read Part 2 Of Article Here. 


Anonymous said...

This article is about "5 Things ..." . I see only two. Is there a link missing? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The conventional thinking that in today's job market a person over 45 is unemployable does not really hold. With some much out in the market, hardcore knowledge and experience is needed to turn around struggling companies. One reason that instead of extensive investment to train and merge in company culture, old hands are returing as retainers or retiring as part timers to lend some time concentarting on problem solutions.

NARENDRA said...

I am 60+ but I do not think age can go against me. If one has the fire, the passion and the confidence, age can not go against one. Why hide the age then?If I am asked this question, I will give an honest reply. At this age, one can work for a company as a consultant, a mentor, an adviser, a trainer, an auditor depending on one's health. I myself am working as a corporate trainer with a Videocon group company . The company does not discriminate against me. In fact I am always given the due respect by all not because of my age but because of my skills and my performance. Companies also find it profitable to outsource certain jobs and it is a win win situation for both.
There could, of course, be certain jobs for which companies would prefer younger persons. They can not then be accused of being age biased.

Anonymous said...

How can openly asking age be legal? They can ask if you are over or under a specific age that is job related. I would like to see a further explaination on how that is assumed to be legal?

Anonymous said...

I am 52 and I get really depressed when I think about age bias. I worked 20 years at a dead end,depressing job with unhappy and hostile people. I went to graduate school and now I can't find a job.

Just sad

Anonymous said...

What is really depressing is applying for out of state jobs and letting them know you will pay your own relo and they still dismiss you. If they had the right people there the ad wouldnt be a month old!

Anonymous said...

I'm 52 myself, as well as College student, reading some of the post comment. It seems that we all scare of getting old the trued is that is nothing we can do about it. Life is about choice's positive or negative. Just because you're 50 years old as not the end of your life actually you just staring the second part and you should be proud of it. On the other hand, If you reverse the thought process with positive thoughts you'll find that 50Th is much easier then 20 simple because now you have life experiences, wisdom, love, is all about how we think.

krishnakumar rajamahanthi said...

Age bias is indeed a depressed matter, but, at the same time, it shows our knowledge and experience, where we can be fit in so many areas or in our own area where we are expertise, we can guide our youngsters and teach and train them to shape them up...by that we can justify ourself and live in pride like a legend...//

Anonymous said...

Also there is an intelligence bias. People simply won't hire people who can do their job better than they can. They won't hire people who they find intimidating. There is also a bias against fair haired men over 40 as well. Add intelligence to this mix and through no fault of their own these gentlemen find themselves unemployed for extended periods of time.

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