As some 50-plus job hunters are sadly discovering, age discrimination is alive and well among hiring managers. But, there are ways to overcome the perception that age trumps ability...and persistence, resilience, and resourcefulness are central to making it happen. The best way to combat age bias is to make sure that interviewers have no doubt that you've got the drive, enthusiasm, and focus of a younger employee and the skills that come from experience. Read this Next Avenue article to learn seven things to say in an interview that will play up your strengths and get you the job.
Young is good, old is bad. That is the message that surrounds us in all kinds of media, conversations, at the workplace...even in our birthday cards! This article strongly offers some proactive ways of dealing with anti-aging messages that are destructive to boomers' psyches and can have dangerous social, political, and economic ramifications. Where to begin? Read the five flags outlined by the author and then gather a group who are determined to change the ageist mindset that surrounds us. Perhaps you will want to create a Fierce with Age Consciousness Group and start by proclaiming "old is good!"
What should we call people age 65 and older? Are they “seniors,” "older adults," "the elderly?" The author of this article "unscientifically" interviewed professionals in the "aging" field to help clarify the word(s) to describe people of a certain age. Among those queried are Harry (Rick) Moody, 67, director of academic affairs for AARP, Jane Glen Haas, 74, nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist, and Dr. John Rowe, 67, chairman of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society. To weigh in on this touchy topic, check out the Philadelphia-based blog, Elder Chicks.
Older workers are still a strong presence in corporate settings, with airlines, utilities, and insurance companies among those employing the largest number of 50+ workers. Just over a quarter (26 percent) of employees at Fortune 500 companies are age 50 or older, according to a new RetirementJobs.com study. The study found that companies that continue to have a sizeable cohort of older workers understand the value and benefits of this age and are more open to hiring mature employees. This U.S. News and World Report article provides data about where workers 50+ are employed...and where they are not...and why. To learn more, click here.
This U.S. News and World Report story describes a woman in her early 70s who has worked at the same company for 30 years and feels that the employer is treating her unfairly, even though she is still good at her job. She wants to continue working at her company, but feels the pressure to quit. If this story sounds all too familiar, and you think you are being treated unfairly at your workplace because of your age, you can learn more about how to deal with this sticky issue by clicking here.
This article asks you to look around at your co-workers and think about who you collaborate with most. Are they younger, older, more experienced? Is asking a multi-generational group to work together a recipe for conflict or segregation? A pilot program run by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College shows that age-diverse work groups not only don't hinder collaboration but are, in fact, really good for business and for the workers' investment in their projects. Read more about how organizations can thrive and have a creative edge by taking advantage of an age diverse workforce. And then share this article around the water cooler!
The term "ageism" was coined in 1968 by Robert Butler, a gerontologist who wanted to call attention to the way society discriminates against the old. While he was a great example of the productivity, vigor, and intellectual curiosity of many older adults (working until 3 days before his death at 83), he would not have been a fan of those who think successful aging is acting 20 at the age of 65. This New York Times article questions whether being as active as you once were is the best measure of successful aging.
Seeing the photos of 80 of the most distinguished people in America (who happen to be 80 and older), gives "ageism" a really bad name. Barbara Walters, Bob Barker, Joe Paterno... the list is a "who's who" of celebrities, authors, great thinkers, and long-lived achievers who continue to play an important role in our society. Who says being 80 is too old to be powerful? Not this crowd.
While lay-offs have plagued every age group and income level, this Wall Street Journalarticle gives those 50 plus some hope that their age and job status may work in their benefit. Age discrimination lawsuits and tenure policies give many employers pause before they consider terminating older employees. Who says that age doesn't have its perks?
Younger adults who think of older people as helpless, feeble or forgetful are more likely to experience strokes, heart attacks and other health problems when they grow older themselves, researchers at Yale University report. This study, published in the March issue of Psychological Science, is the first to show that negative stereotypes of older people—developed early in life—have health consequences years later. Sounds like a powerful motivator for re-thinking aging! Read about this study in AARP's Bulletin Today story.