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Monday, August 1, 2011

So How Old Are You? Things You Can/Can't Do About Age Bias: ( Part 2)

Here’s what you can do to avoid or overcome age bias: 

  1. Know your rights: Become familiar with the fundamental rights provided by federal and state ADEA laws. You may not always choose to pursue or enforce these rights, but you should know what is and what is not permissible. Refer to this AARP explanation of your rights under the ADEA. 

  2. Be clear about your objectives: Examine your personal life and work history, and inventory your knowledge, skills, capabilities, and achievements. Consider what you most enjoy doing. Identify specific employers and know the type of job you want. Get some career advice and select the occupation or profession in which you are most apt to prosper. Put all this information down in a clear and concise resume. Your clarity and confidence of purpose will come through to employers. 

  3. Be at your best: This may sound a little silly, but look and be at your best. Splurge on a new interview outfit (even if that 30-year-old suit still fits). Be well groomed, maintain your personal fitness to the highest possible level, make sure your health or medical conditions are under control, be well rested, research the employer, and display your knowledge. These tasks should help keep you confident and poised. Try practicing for interviews with a friend or professional coach. Finally, put all concerns about your age and the threat of age bias out of your mind. 

How To Get Hired Faster on Linkedin

4. Be a continuous learner: Whether you are a candidate or an employee, always grow and learn. This is particularly important for your computer skills and knowledge. The abilities to use a computer, send e-mail, surf the Internet, and handle basic applications, such as word processing, are not optional anymore. Inability to make even basic use of a computer is a cause for rejection in all but a handful of jobs—many of which you wouldn’t want. Buy a computer, set up an Internet account, and take lessons. While you’re at it, get a mobile phone. PC skills and a cell phone are powerful ways to show you are technically savvy and not a dinosaur. 

5. Seek employment and work in the right places: Many industries and employers value older workers. Search them out and apply there. If you’re already working for an age-friendly employer, do everything you can to stay with that organization. Meanwhile, here are a few places to start looking for companies who hire and affirm older workers: - AARP National Employer Team: A list of major national employers who have committed to age-neutral practices. - AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50: A list of employers recognized by AARP for their exceptional practices relating to the older workforce. - Web Job-Posting Boards for Older Workers: There are numerous Web sites with job announcements focused on workers 50 and older. These include RetirementJobs.com, which evaluates employers and grants Age Friendly Certification to companies who welcome older candidates, RetiredBrains, Senior Job Bank, Jobs4.0, and Seniors for Hire. 

  Was this article useful? If so, subscribe to our newsletter to read more! Bob Skladany is the Director of Research & Chief Career Counselor at RetirementJobs.com Source: http://www.aarp.org/money/work/articles/what_you_can_do_about_age_bias.html


Anonymous said...

To be honest, this was just another "fluff" article telling us to "look good, be positive, know computers, and get retrained". There was almost an air of "oh well just let it go if you are discriminated" against. Every HR and Business law class I have taken have agreed, you can not ask a persons age. After my first experience being unemployed, I went back to school and finished my degree out of my own pocket. By the way the article did not say how to pay for this training if you don't have an income. Now I'm unemployed again after my job moved to Mexico. This time I went back to school to obtain my professional certification, at my own expense. I have done my part re-inventing myself, but to no avail, potential employers will not even interview me because my age is very obvious from my resume.I have follwed many discussions on LinkedIN started by 20-30 something recruiters where they openly state that they consider age in the hiring process. This is unfortunate, not to mention illegal, because age is one diversity group we will all be in someday.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the 'Anonymous' above, the article is only trying to make us overlook age bias and discrimination. What a degrading advice to try dress up in a younger looking outfit "if that 30-year-old suit still fits"...what if it doesn't?! Being healthy and fit doesn't always mean loking like 30. Besides, the point is exactly to get hired regardless of how old we look!
However the cruel reality is that there is a great deal of age discrimination in the job market. The solution should not be trying to change the look of the job seekers of over 40 and 50, but change the attitude of those who hire us.

Anonymous said...

In full support of the above 2 comments. All this article did was pander to the 50+ solidly experienced worker as if it were telling us soemthing we didn't know. Actually, the article was a regurgitation of all the hype and wearying tons of info that clutters my junk email box!

Whether or not the law is enforced, age discrimination is still illegal -- pay attention employer. Sooner or later you will get nailed!

Anonymous said...

Agree, agree, agree!!! So many of us over 50 never thought we would be unemployed but worked hard for decades giving our all to the company while also keeping skills up. So many of the HR screeners and hiring managers are so inexperienced they do not even consider you for a role. Until companies and hiring managers (too many think Obama and Washington can do it) start to view those over 50 as a once in a lifetime chance to bring in wonderfully experienced and skillful people, we will bump along with daily up's and own's on Wall St.

Anonymous said...

What if we substituted the word "race" for the word "age" in this article? People would be outraged. "What? You mean we should condone discriminatory hiring practices based on race because everyone does it. Well we can't stand for that!" But that's the crux of this article. The market is always going to discriminate on age, so get used to it and resign yourself that the only place you're going to be considered for employment is in the over-50 ghetto. And forget applying in the mainstream job market. We don't want you. I'll bet this article was written by some chipper young under-30 year old who thought he or she could be helpful by telling the grey beards and blue hairs where they could still get a job. The dirty little secret about this job market, I'm convinced, is that companies using software to screen resumes submitted online have configured that software with an upper limit on experience and use it to screen out resumes of candidates with experience beyond that upper limit. If you have more than 25 years' experience, forget making it into the candidate pool. I have 27 years of experience in corporate communications -- much of it senior-level. I've submitted nearly 500 resumes online for positions I was either exactly qualified or even over-qualififed for. I've received interest on those submissions in fewer than five instances.

Anonymous said...

Who wrote this garbage? "Buy a computer, set up an Internet account, and take lessons. While you’re at it, get a mobile phone." Wow. Maybe I should get a mobile phone with really big buttons, too. Who does this person think they're talking to? I've had a cell phone for 17 years, have counseled Fortune 500 companies on intranet and Sharepoint architecture, managed an Oracle implementation and contruction of corporate portal. And this person thinks they're helping me by telling me to get a computer. I can't believe they actually published this condescending crap.

Anonymous said...

The article is piffle, drivel and swill. In that order.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments. I have a college degree, years of experience, and have been asked 'when did you graduate from high school'?

I have also had people my age tell me that they are happy they are still employed. I don't really think that those of us who were downsized really wanted it to happen. I can only keep on reinventing myself, working whatever temporary jobs come my way, and hope that someone will see through the age bias to hire me full time in my career. And, like many others, I have taken care of myself physically, dress and interview well, but it is impossible to fool ourselves into thinking that at age 50-60 we can fool interviewers into believing we are only 20!!

Anonymous said...

Also agree with most of the above.
I am a registered nurse and have passed up for jobs over a year. Only to find out, positions I have applied for, were INDEED filled by younger nurses.



Anonymous said...

I also agree, but I am trying to so something about it. I writing to our government officials until they don't want to hear from me any more. I'm writing to AARP to make this a big issue. I've written to the EEOC.

What we have to do is to make the questions they ask on the websites from recruiters, job boards and companies as illegal as if they were on applications. If you can't ask when I completed school on an application, why should it be allowed on a website. I have written to several websites and they say you don't have to answer. Well by not answering, you tell them that you are in the "I don't want to tell you category" which means then I don't have to consider you category.

I was in HR with a bias toward baby boomers. We have a work ethic you don't see any longer (I am generalizing). You don't have to worry about people calling out sick on Monday's because they partied too hard on Sunday. We can spell and know grammar. We know about loyalty and dedication. Companies don't have to worry about me leaving early because of child care issues. If I had to leave, I made up the time, plus I usually worked 4 hours extra a night even though I was management. No one really cared because, like in most companies, the favorites or the people who pestered the most got the most. I just didn't know how to change and give less.

The biggest issue is money. Our healthcare costs more and that's the bottom line. With the new healthcare reform and the lifetime max eliminated, this has caused an increase in the cost of insurance.

Companies now only care about the bottom line and don't care about loyalty, dedication or lifetime employment. Those days are gone and we have to understand that most companies (this means senior management) don't have a clue that people are the company. They don't care and they don't want to know what motivates people and how to really succeed. It's all about the money. It's all about quarterly results and if they are not made, they chop heads. Like I was told when I lost my job - It's not personal.

The world we knew is gone. As the world changed with industrialization, cars, typewriters, and all those other inventions that changed the world, we are up against that. I read in Fast Company (a magazine) that the new management style that will succeed is "chaos management" because they will be able to move faster with all the changes that are going on every day with technology, world events, etc. Plus the greed has never gone away.

You know what, I don't want to work in that world. I'm still trying to find a job and sending resumes into the black hole of the internet, but I'm also trying to work on entrepreneurial things that will give me satisfaction, money and my life back. I worked so hard on my last job because I loved it and I loved my company, but in the end; I lost everything. I have forgotten how to relax. Why would I want to do that again for people who don't care?

I wish the very best to all for continuing the fight and climbing that mountain. I do believe there are companies out there who do look at experience and not age.

Anonymous said...

It is starting to feel like the only real option is to put a gun to my head, because at my "advanced age" (52) I cannot survive as one of the homeless, living on the street. I will be at that point soon though, when the unemployment runs out for the last time, my car gets repossessed and I get evicted from my apartment.

No family, and the few people I *thought* were real friends won't acknowledge my existence anymore because they are afraid that if they do, they will have to hear me beg to live in their basement. The 2 undersized homeless shelters for women in my area are all slam full, with waiting lists that are many months long.

I've probably sent out 700 resumes in the last year, with only 2 interviews. I guess I could rob a bank and do a deliberately crappy job at it so I would get caught. At least then I'd be eligible for '3 hots and a cot' (in prison). But I am not sure that prison is better than suicide, what with all those disgusting criminals I'd have to live with. Seems like the government would be better off just extending unemployment, as it would be a lot cheaper than prison.

Just what the hell are people supposed to do?

Anonymous said...

It's tough to be at the mercy of young HR people who don't really know who to hire and resort to looking for ways to disqualify people and then hire the last man standing. And this is how they justify their position? I wish I had enough available capital to purchase a franchise and then I could be successfully self-employed. The rub is that in order to afford the franchise, I would need to obtain a job first and save my earnings.

Allan Drisdelle said...

Agreed with the many comments above . Young HR managers a big problem and young CEO's that is not willing to look at experience as an asset . A very big mistake is being made here in the corporate world . Once things get back on line to the point growth is in site . Who is going to excelerate business and Cap on market share ? A company with only young people will not know what to do and how to handle an upward trend . There will be no mentor's for them to go too and there stress levels will increase 10 fold. A combination of senior and young newly educated people is the solution . Succession needs to continue working on age balance with companies not on wage balance ...

Anonymous said...

Many of these entries are from several years ago and one would think that over time, things would improve.

Here it is the end of 2016 and I am very sorry to say that things have NOT improved at all.
I am a 67 yr old Master's prepared RN who has just had my job "eliminated" for the 4th time in my career. Each time this happened, a new young CEO came into the company and brought his young former employees with him to take someone else's job! I have never been any place long enough to get a good retirement or 401K and now , at 67, I must work or will not be able to keep my house, my car, my self respect!

Someone must read these posts and create some options for those of us with years of loyalty and a willingness to keep working to apply all the skills and training that others lack! This life must matter and must stand for what is good about us and our country! Most of us wanted to make a difference in this world and wanted to be content that we had satisfied that goal before our life was over. I pray that there is someone with desire and authority to make that a reality before the next 4 years go by!

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