The local chapter of International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) recently asked me to speak to their “Masters Group.” This is a group specifically designed for people over age 50 and the title of the program was How to Reinvent, Re-energize, Rejuvenate Your Career.
NOTE: I was clearly the oldest person in the room and remember starting my business at age 50… so I have a few thoughts about this subject.
In preparation for this presentation, I asked them to submit questions so I could get a feel for their issues and concerns. Here are two of four of their questions and my suggestions and recommendations. My next blog on July 20 will provide Part 2!
- Do you have any tips on dealing with age-ism? (Age Discrimination)
I’m not going to deny that age-ism doesn’t exist in the workplace, despite diversity and generational differences training and/or the laws that are supposed to prohibit it.
However there are some things you can proactively do to counteract negative images or perceptions of older people in the workplace.
- Look contemporary – make sure your hair style and clothes reflect the 21st century. Stop wearing clothes from the 1980s or 90’s. You don’t have to be GQ or a fashionista, but look professional – 2016-style.
- Be tech savvy – Quit saying you hate technology. Get with it or you’ll be left behind. Have an updated Linked-In profile. Do you need to learn Zoom? Doodle? Periscope? Learn the tech tools for your trade.
- Know your value – People over 50 hopefully have gained some wisdom and have a professional savvy that they’ve earned over the years. Whether it’s diplomacy in difficult situation or knowing how to solve problems and make decisions, these attributes come with age and experience. They are valuable assets to any manager.
- Stop talking about being or getting old. Get over it! No one wants to hear that your boss or co-workers are the same age as your kids. They’ll treat you as old as you act.
2) How do I decide if it’s time to reinvent or redefine or just accept that I don’t get jobs because I’m overqualified and “accept retirement/or refinement of job duties?”
Ack! This sounds like a slow boat to oblivion.
Again, remember the value that you bring to the table, as noted in the 3rd bullet above. Being “overqualified” can also means that there can be a shortened learning curve and you’ll be more productive on the job than a less experienced person. Often times, the seasoned worker has a dependable work ethic and a pride in providing quality work and customer satisfaction. More experience benefits a manager by offering opportunities to assist in mentoring, coaching and training less experienced staff. (What boss wouldn’t want help with that?)
One tool you can use to support your qualifications is to do the assessment found in StrengthsFinders 2.0 by Tom Rath. It’s one of the most accurate assessments I’ve seen. Tailor your resume to reflect your top 3 strengths and use measurable results or accomplishments to support the strengths that you offer potential employers. It also shows you’re using contemporary tools to support your job search and reflection for self improvement.
Finally – Remember – if a company doesn’t value your experience and the skills you offer, do you really want to work for them? If they don’t value you before you’re hired, what makes you think they’ll value you afterwards? Quit trying to convince them. Move on. There’s a better employer match for you someplace else.
Marty Stanley, CSP, understands how to help people reinvent and re-energize themselves and their organizations. She has reinvented herself many times from minimum wage worker and beach photographer, to corporate executive, radio show host and business columnist, to national speaker, author and consultant. Are you ready to reinvent or re-energize? Call Marty today 816-695-5453 firstname.lastname@example.org
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