I recently read an article on ageism in the work place, especially for those of us on the wrong side of 40. It got me thinking so here is some food for thought too.
In an age where we are all supposed to be politically correct, be accepting of everyone regardless of colour, creed or sexual preference, why is there such a divide when it comes to age??? Employers are overlooking experience and expertise for youth and cheaper labour costs. Being young doesn’t necessarily mean being better at a job, neither does being older mean being unfit or inept to be productive. So why are so many 40+ being overlooked for a younger candidate? Why is it so hard to get a good job just because you are over 40.
It’s not enough anymore to just say ” you are over qualified”, we all know what that means. I can understand, to an extent that it can be cost effective to hire younger less experienced staff ,but have employers ever wondered the true cost? The mature employee can bring to the table not only years of experience but a wealth of knowledge and lessons learned from mistakes made in the past, an understanding of people that only comes with age. I am not saying for a moment that employers should choose an older candidate just because of age , on the contrary, they must also be able to bring to the table everything the employer is looking for so that age doesn’t matter.
A friend was recently at an interview for a job, a job he had a lifetime of experience for. He was confident that he had a really good chance of getting the position. In the waiting room there were 2 other candidates , they got chatting about their future. While my friend was interested in working with the company long term and focusing on sharing his skills and making a difference, the two other candidates were looking at this as a stepping stone while waiting for the ”right job ” to come along. All candidates of course are right . It comes down to what a company is looking for ……cheaper labour costs with a fast turn around of staff, little or no loyalty and the time and energy to keep training new staff , then choose the younger candidate. But, if you want loyalty, experience, staff who will stick with you , drive your business forward, should it matter if they are over 40??
40 is the new 20 lol.