Too old?

More and more 40+ years old job seekers – both women and men – show concern related to their age as a potential disqualifier for their application.

Companies’ Equal Opportunity recruitment statements (and legal environment in many countries) are preventing these from inserting desired age ranges in advertised job openings or rejecting applicants based on age criteria. In the attempt to remain close to the real reason of rejection, recruiters are using somewhat correlated affirmations: “too senior”, “overqualified”, etc.

 

Is ‘old age’ (40s, 50s) really a ‘handicap’ for a job seeker?

Personally, I have no age preconception, especially when it comes to jobs that suppose not only relevant past work practice, but also maturity and life experience to handle the human-related finesse of a specific assignment.

According to an analysis of the Capital IQ database of global companies, the peak age of a business person is fifty-something. The global average age of CEOs is 55.

When recruiting at Director / Top Manager level, I tend to prefer the 40-50 age bracket, once again, not solely linked to work background, but most often related to personal life lessons & happenings.

 

“Ah, but I was so much older then / I’m younger than that now” Bob Dylan, My Back Pages

The Intern

Under circumstances, I also ‘favor’ (no discriminatory offence 🙂 meant whatsoever) the same age interval for a variety of other positions:

Interim Management

Specialized / manufacturing Jobs

Recruitment Managers / Recruiters

HR Managers

Management Consultants

Executive Search Consultants

Finance Professionals

Different positions in pharmaceutical companies & healthcare

Office Managers

Bookkeepers

Executive Assistants

Administrative roles

Various Project Managers

 

‘Old’ employees are often described as:

  • experienced & motivated
  • loyal & punctual
  • detail-oriented & focused
  • dedicated & reliable
  • employees with a strong work ethic

 

You are really too old if:

You are not able or willing to mentor younger or less-experienced employees

You are change-resistant or lack flexibility / adaptability

You oppose technology

You are always skeptical of optimistic outcomes

You often complain about the young generation

You are not willing or able to update your skills

You find it difficult to integrate in a diverse team

You consider yourself burned-out

You think that ‘an old dog can’t be taught new tricks’

You have flat-lined intellectually

 

The Intern

 

Advice for job seekers over 50:

Leverage your age as an asset

Emphasize results, accomplishments and achievements

Update your CV by focusing on relevant recent information

Demonstrate interest and willingness to continuously learn

Network and use social media tools

Be prepared to work with (or report to) people younger than you

Be prepared to be interviewed by people younger than you

Be energetic and enthusiastic

Don’t tell yourself that nobody hires older workers

 

Featured cover images: “The Intern”, Movie 2015

 

Bibliography:

Half of the global CEOs are in their 50s

No, You’re Not Too Old For a New Job

Resume, Cover Letter, and Interview Strategies for Older and Mature Workers

 

Posted in Knowledge, Respect, Truth.

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