Let’s face it. If you’re over 40, you will hit a Real or Self-Imposed age bias.
I define “Real” age bias as nobody likes anyone over 40, unless you work for the Government or in consulting.
Self-Imposed age bias is you have let your skills get worn out.
#1 Tactic to Minimize Age Bias: Admit You’re Old (Professionally), but Upgrade Your Skills!
I was 42 when the Crash of ’07 sent me to the unemployment line. I was facing both Real and Self-Imposed age bias. I had it all.
- I had cruised for the last 10 years at my job, doing same ‘ol same ‘ol (don’t tell my former clients)
- I got lazy and never upgraded my skills (technology, creativity, business development, etc.)
- I was in a punishing industry for age: Finance/Marketing (get the Preparation H and find me a burial plot!)
I blamed employers because they just wanted a young stud, better looking, less expensive than myself.
This blame was justified; Real age bias.
However, after 2 fancy NYC shrinks at $300/hr., I finally understood it was also my fault-Self Imposed age bias.
I could finally see clearly, albeit with old glasses since I couldn’t afford new ones anymore!
How to Combat Real Age Bias
YOU CAN’T, SO DEAL WITH IT!
How to Combat Self-Imposed Age Bias
Bring your skills up to date, or if you have cutting edge skills, make them prominent on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and in interviews.
How Do You Get “Up To Date”?
- Take an online course, and get a certification
- If still employed, ask to get involved in more cutting edge work stuff
- Get an online degree from an Ivy League or equivalent
- Joining the Ivies is only as difficult as the money you pay them
- Ivies are businesses; you got the cash, they got the degree!
- Find a junior person at work as your mentor
- Yes, don’t go up, go down!
- I learn so much from my children; please don’t tell them!!!!!
How to Document Your New Skills
You must emphasize your new certification, degree, skills as prominently as possible without seeming desperate
- Since recruiters spend 8-12 seconds on your resume, document your new “you” on the first 15% of your first page
- Create a separate section called “Innovative Professional Activities” or something similar
- Describe your “on the job” new skill training front and center while discussing your job bullets
- Include your new certification or degree in the “Certification” or “Education” sections
- Subtly mention your new “you” in your Headline (below your name) and in your Summary sections
- Get a recommendation from a classmate or professor, and make it your #1 recommendation
- “Tell me about yourself” is a perfect way to demonstrate the new “you” as a professional who is a constant life learner
- Emphasize and demonstrate constant life learner with plenty of examples
Hey, We Are Old!
At Least Gain the Wisdom to Upgrade Yourself!