I’ve spoken to dozens of people over the age of 40 who are unhappy in their current career. When I ask them why they stay doing what they do, most of them say I’m too old to do anything else’. While it is true that age discrimination is alive and well and lives among us despite legislation to present we should recognise that it does not have quite the grip on job or career search many of us might think
One of my favourite sayings is from Eleanor Roosevelt you says ‘ no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ The same is true of the world of work ‘you are never too old to start a new career’. But don’t take my word for it there are many examples around us in the form of Steve Jobs, designer Vera Wang, Henry Ford, to name but a few.
So, whilst recognising age discrimination exists in some part of the world of work, should you let it stop you from making a career change?. Here are some of the things you can do to help overcome age discrimination when making a career change.
1) Ignore it
You’ve made up your mind about what career choices are out there and what you want to do next. The only thing holding you back is the fear of being rejected because of your age. Look past the age barrier and think to yourself. Is this something I am passionate about? Do I meet the entry level requirements for this role? If you do, push ahead. An opening or opportunity to make a break will present itself. Your focus should be on making sure you have the right skills knowledge and experience to offer.
Recent research indicates that a 55-year-old and even a 65-year-old have more innovation potential than a 25-year-old.
2) Be current
For some of us part of the challenge lies in the fact that its been a while since we last applied for a job. Perhaps the last job you applied for was when people still sent in application forms the to company?
Things have moved on since then. Getting to grips with some of the most common ways for applying for jobs today including job apps, online applications, and social media profiles can be a bit daunting. This is all before we get to the interview!
Don’t let this put you off. Do some research. Find out what the best tools are to use for your job search. Even better, find out what the companies you’re applying to are using to attract candidates. Is it LinkedIn? Facebook, company pages or job boards?
3) Find Like minded employers
We’ve acknowledged that we live in a world where age bias exists but there are plenty of employers out there who will embrace and value the knowledge and experience that you have to offer. Many public sector employers and large private sectors employers are good organisations to target for jobs. Use websites such as Sunday Times Best Companies to help to find organisations who are known for good employment practices.
You don’t want to work with anyone who doesn’t want to work with you. Accept that it can happen and move on, putting yourself in a position to succeed with the tips above.
Join our Facebook Group – career changers over 40 to meet other like minded people seeking and finding dream careers