Ageism is discrimination against persons of a certain age group with a tendency to regard older persons as unworthy or even worse, unsuitable for employment. It is generally based on assumptions and stereotypes of a particular age group.
Some say it’s come about because of the increased emphasis and value on the youth population. All the talk about millennials and Gen X and Y. Social media is riddled with articles and opinions on the topic.
Who is generally affected by Ageism?
Seniors and elderly persons are particularly subjected to ageism. Societal norms can often disregard seniors and treat them with disrespect. I’m sure those aged 50+ will agree with me that being called a ’senior’ happens far too soon.
To keep things real, youth populations are also effected by ageism, particularly teenagers, so ageism is not exclusive to the older population.
Interestingly, a recent google search told me that our workforce is greying, particularly in NZ and the USA. I had a cousin who started going grey at age 21 so what does that say about him? Going grey does not always correlate with ‘being elderly’.
I found varying statistics online with the only consistencies showing:
- About 1 in 10 older workers experience harassment, discrimination, and bullying (the USA stats indicate 1 in 3)
- 67% of workers aged 55+ earned in the lower and mid-range of hourly earning bands. Only 3% earned $60 or more an hour. (stats.govt.nz)
- Older workers aged 55+ have more fear of losing their jobs
- Workers aged 55+ received 8 percentage points less training than workers aged 35–54 years, which was the group that received the highest amount of training. (stats.govt.nz)
It’s not all negative
The great thing about all of this is that it doesn’t need to be all bad. There is something we can all control and where maturity is often an advantage; MINDSET.
Earl Nightingale was famous for saying ‘You become what you think about’ and Henry Ford for saying ‘If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right’.
If you think you are too old or un-hireable, you will be. Confidence seals the deal on more interviews than a souped-up resume. You need to strongly believe you can move into a new role, adapt and make a difference.
For those who are struggling to find work right now, I wouldn’t blame you if you just let out a sigh or caught yourself doing an eye roll. Choosing our mood or response to something can get more and more challenging with repetitive knock backs.
Mindset, mindfulness and Emotional Freedom
Mindfulness is spoken about a lot more today than ever before and there are numerous courses throughout the world and on line to teach you meditation. Search google and you will get about 125,000,000 results.
I am very thankful that I began my journey with mindfulness almost 20 years ago with ongoing practice, and a lot of it. I am now skilled at observing my thoughts and do daily meditation. It works, but for some people it can take time to integrate into daily life. I often say to people, start with two minutes. Find some meditative music and put your timer on for two minutes. Practice this until you can stay present for the whole two minutes, then increase to five minutes. It works.
What meditation and mindfulness will help you with is staying in the present moment. That is the place where the past no longer affects you and the future isn’t worrying you yet.
I take it to another level in my coaching practice by introducing clients to EFT.
What is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique?)
EFT is a self-help method that focuses on the mind-body connection. It involves tapping your fingertips on key acupuncture points on the hands, face and body while focusing temporarily upon an issue we wish to resolve.
I like to think of EFT as resetting our personal energy system in relation to a particular issue. It’s similar to how we would reboot a computer that has frozen or crashed.
EFT can help us reset our personal energy system little by little at a pace that is right for us.
Holding on to negative emotions severely limits your ability to create the life you want. Every time you’re in a state of uncertainty, doubt, resentment, fear, sadness, guilt or shame, you literally limit your ability to think clearly, feel safe and create the life you want.
All of those emotions being brought to the surface because you can’t get a job can be tapped out quickly and effectively!
Be proud of your age!
I have spent a big chunk of my career as a Recruiter and I confidently suggest you be proud of your age. You have spent years and decades gathering and polishing skills and experience to a level that can make a huge difference and positive impact in the next business you join.
Forget about what others think. Who wants to work for a boss who thinks age is a negative thing anyway! If you are still nervous about this, I welcome you to visit www.career-reboot.com, click on ‘select your reboot’ and choose the “15 minute complimentary consult” option to chat to me and maybe even try EFT. All of my clients who have experienced tapping rave about it.
Of course the usual career advice also applies
- Be sure you have career clarity and know what you want. Employers and recruiters will pick up on it if you don’t.
- Have your personal branding reflect that clarity, meaning your CV and social media profiles.
- Don’t rely on CV’s and your online footprint, get out and about and network in person. Get on the phone. Let the world know you are ready and available to work.
- Highlight your transferrable skills in job applications if you are applying for a job in a new industry.
- If you are 55+, chances are you could be asked how long you want to keep working for, or when you plan to retire. Don’t be thrown by this question. Be prepared.
- Do you research on the company before you show up to an interview.
- GRATITUDE: follow up any interviews or phone conversations with a thank you note.
I encourage you to take control of what you can and leave the rest alone. It’s a lot more fun.
All the best!