Gulf Stream Search > Mish Mosh > Career advice > Food for Thought #6 * Overcoming ageism

You didn’t get the next interview with the company you were hoping to join.

Recruiters aren’t calling you back with new opportunities.

You didn’t get the next interview with the company you were hoping to join.

Recruiters aren’t calling you back with new opportunities.

No one is responding to your resume.

A thought occurs to you – am I being subjected to ageism?  If so, how do I overcome ageism in my job search?

Regardless of whether you are or not, overcoming other people’s prejudices and potential biases ARE necessary in order to execute a successful career search.

If you feel you’re experiencing ageism and all you do is say, “that’s not fair”, you may be missing an opportunity to learn new skills or adapt your mindset in a beneficial way.

What are the negative biases that come to mind when employers and hiring managers are presented with an “older” candidate?  These are things that are commonly heard…..

Stuck in ways.
Slow on technology.
Low energy.
Exit strategy already in place for retirement.
Can’t work with younger generation.
Resistant to change.
Expensive – compensation history tenure based and may not be based on accomplishment.
Averse to relocation should business needs change.
Not upwardly mobile – not promotable
Not trainable

If you think are being subjected to ageism, go through a self-reflection exercise and answer these questions.

Are you stuck in your ways?
Are you resistant to today’s work culture?
Are you resistant to change in your personal life?
Are you clinging to the “way things were”, even if the “way things were” are 5, 10, 20 years past?
Are you slow with technology?
Have you kept up to speed with innovation in your business?
In cell phones, communication methods, social media, etc?
Are you stubborn? If so, how?
Are you resistant to change? IF so, why?
Have you been riding the tenure wave? Admit it.
Is your compensation at a level that’s based more on the number of years you’ve been somewhere than what your contributions to either the company’s bottom or top line is?
Have you already made plans to retire in the city in which you currently reside?
Have you decided you’ll stay close to children / grandchildren even if a promotion or relocation becomes necessary?
Have you stopped looking for a promotion?
Are you “maintaining” your career at this point?
Are you content with the role you’re in and the responsibilities that come along with it?
Are you averse to learning new tricks?
Have you “been there, done that”?
Have you stopped learning new things?
Are you “checked out” when it comes to personal or professional development opportunities?

If you say yes, you’re setting yourself up to be “biased” out of an opportunity.

But are any of these attributes – “can’t change”, “won’t change”, “unwilling”, “checked out”, “untrainable”, “inflexible”, “stubborn”, “unskilled with required technologies”, “show moving” ones YOU’D hire?