The industry generally prefers the freshers as compared to the mature person during hiring. The reasoning is simple as freshers are paid less than the experienced employees. No matter how difficult it seems but age discrimination policy or ageism in the workplace is one of the challenges that one has to go through. Despite the fact of experience and knowledge into consideration, it is also the factor that employers tend to overlook it. It is definitely a concern but if handled right one can easily turn it in their advantage. Knowing the right tactics is of extreme importance since the opportunities are high in this competitive market but very few of the people are passionate about winning it.
Ageism in the Workplace – 15 Steps for Overcoming it:
The following mentioned are few tips on dealing with ageism in the workplace.
1. Your age is your benefit:
First, start believing in yourself that being older in a job is not a negative point. If you don’t believe in yourself then it will be difficult to convince others. Hence, even when applying for a new job or looking for promotion in the office, present your age factor as one of the most influencing point for the success of the company. At the end of the day, the employer looks for the benefits and profits of the company by the employee. By the time you think that your age limitation might not be beneficial, work for job roles where your skill will be in demand and you will succeed in it.
2. Find better opportunities soon:
If in case you are in a situation, where you are fired or laid down then you should immediately start looking for the newer opportunity. As the search for the job hunt delays, the momentum and the energy of self motivation will also reduce. Talk to your friends and family who can keep you motivated and give you inspiration to keep working ahead. With patience and persistence one can achieve anything. Good opportunities take some time to come, therefore, prevent yourself from jumping into the first thing that comes up.
3. Start using social media:
The older generation is not very comfortable with social media hence, this is one thing which make them old, age wise. Keep yourself updated with the newer technologies coming in, be comfortable with social media and interact with people online. Social media is the effective medium to network and present your work expertise. You can use LinkedIn which is a great platform to meet potential recruiters and people where you might find a good job for yourself. Since most of the companies use social media, your knowledge will be an added skill for you.
4. Find online groups for your age group:
Join online groups where you will find people with your age group looking for jobs. Meeting likewise people will present you a clear picture of the scenario that you are not alone. This will also help you network with other people where various opportunities are shared. Meeting mature workers like you will also help in planning and strategizing better opportunities together, which could be helpful in finding the right work for you.
5. Market yourself better:
At the end of the day, it is how you present yourself in the market or to the employer, important. If you are capable to present yourself as the most effective and liable brand to be hired, then ageism will never be an issue or concern for you. Talk about your strengths and what you can offer best to a company if hired, which no one has and solely is your unique selling point. Even when you were young you knew that showing the right work for yourself will benefit you, hence create a strong brand of yourself.
6. Learn newer skills:
The major issue with people as they grow is that they stop learning newer things. Try learning new skills every now and then, it could be anything from a personal hobby or something related to your profession. This will keep you up to date to the technology and at par to the younger generation. Learning new skills also keeps the ideas flowing and is also an exercise for the mind to pursue. There are various online courses which you can join and keep yourself updated.
7. Find recommendation:
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile till date, then create one and find people who can recommend you and endorse you on LinkedIn. For company recruiters, these recommendations are extremely handy while deciding to hire a person and this is where the age concern is also reduced. Another point to note is if the employer is in doubt these recommendations will remove them and increase your chances of being hired.
8. Your work approach:
The only reason company prefers to hire youngsters is due to the fact that they are flexible in their approach. Therefore, be flexible in your approach towards your work and just try learning as much as you can. If you are going for a job interview, share the examples where you went ahead and completed the job even if it was not assigned to you and you had a very flexible approach towards it.
9. Show enthusiasm:
Attitude is of extreme importance in a workplace, be enthusiastic and energetic in your office. Everyone appreciates people with high energy and confidence. Let this be your strength and advantage. Take charge of the situation like a mature person and find speedy solutions to a problem like a young mind. Having a great attitude towards work will deliver better results.
10. Be fit:
Keep yourself physically and mentally fit, eat right food, exercise regularly. Create healthy habits which will in turn give generate positive attitude in you. Keep yourself mentally sharp, play quiz or mental games and read as much as you can. Fitness is something which will keep you charged up and ready, to deal with any situation.
11. Find Internships:
If you are one of those who has pursued an education in later stages of life then do not be discouraged with ageism. Then be up and ready to take an internship offer and work as much as you can, this will help you learn the new technologies that are developing within the industry and will reduce the gaps that might be there in the resume. Meanwhile when a good opportunity will come to you, your resume will be in a great shape.
12. Be an entrepreneur:
Your working age factor will allow working for yourself since you have good experience in the industry so take a chance and be an entrepreneur. Use your networks and contacts build it for your business, take one idea and gradually develop into a business model. This will be quite a rewarding experience as not only you will be your own boss but later in few years you will be hiring people.
13. Use your network:
By now your experience does not restrict only to work but also around the people you have worked with. Your network is the right source for getting to a better opportunity. Be in touch with these people through social media, send them mail on regular basis like on festival holidays, and ensure that they know that you are present and known to them. These relationships can help to find the right place for you or newer opportunities which you might have never explored.
14. Assess yourself:
By this time, you should be aware of your weaknesses and strengths and while you are looking for development in new career, use your strengths in your benefit for the same. Prevent yourself from disillusionment about your ideas, rather than looking to become what your employers intend to be, it is good to be what you exactly are. In fact, take a personality assessment, it will help you figure out the things.
15. Find the right job:
Working for a right employer is essential no matter what your age is. During the interview if the employer is having trouble with your age and is not convinced then it is better not to work with them. Before agreeing to work for someone know and find their work policies, ensure that is the kind of work you would like to do, and if that workplace is apt for you. Talk to people working there through social media and learn the most about them.
Discrimination against age is equivalent to any other forms of discrimination at work. Let the effects of ageism affect your dreams and ambitions as there are various opportunities for everyone. Find the right place and opportunities and go ahead for them. You might find this issue as a major concern but in truth if you are able to present the right picture of yourself then this will never be the issue for you. As every employer looks for those who can bring benefit to the company as an employee.