Job Offers Are Harder For Middle Age Workers
Why Hiring Managers are Reluctant To Hire Older People
As an older worker, you do have a stereotype to deal with. The perception is that older workers can’t take orders from younger bosses, they don’t do technology, they resist change, they lack energy, maybe they have health problems, and they cost too much.
Let’s hit these one at a time:
They can’t take orders from a younger boss.
For some people this is a huge sticking point. It can be hard to take direction from someone young enough to be your child. And that person may be nervous about giving you that direction. This is just an attitude issue.
If you can believe that the person in that position is there for a reason and it really is going to be possible to learn something from them, then you are in a much better mental place for this job search. And your positive attitude will make you more attractive to employers.
They don’t do technology.
Make absolutely sure that you are up to speed on whatever the latest technology or software is within your field. Take a class if you need to. This is an important point for everyone in the job search, but it’s even more critical for older workers because of this perception.
They resist change.
If you’re keeping up with the latest technology, this is going to be less of a problem for you. But go ahead and make sure that you’re on LinkedIn and Facebook and that you know what you’re doing with them. Be active and join groups. Your actions will speak louder than your words here.
They lack energy.
The best way to fight this misconception is to constantly be learning. Be able to talk about the latest book you read or the class you took or whatever you’ve done to maintain or upgrade your skills. And I love to have candidates talk about their hobbies like dancing, hiking, or volunteering or anything that gets you up off the couch and projects an image of energy.
They have health problems.
The hobbies I just talked about will help you here, too. If you’re active and energetic, you won’t have so many health problems to begin with. And if you do have health problems, don’t get so comfortable in the interview that you talk about them. Keep any mention of them out of the picture.
They cost too much.
You could easily run across employers who will assume that you won’t work for what they’re paying. Their position doesn’t pay as much as what you’ve earned before, and they can’t imagine that you would take a pay cut. To make it easier to get a job, your whole attitude needs to be, “I want to work and contribute. The money is a secondary consideration.”
The other presentation tips I have for you are the same as what I’d tell anyone else: Take care of your physical self, because it will make you more attractive to employers. Get a fresh, updated haircut. Get a stylish but conservative interview outfit. Shine your shoes. You must project confidence in your body language and smile.
And remember that the job search is a sales process, so what do you have to offer as a product? If you’re an older worker, you probably have a truckload of experience you can draw on to solve problems. Present yourself as a solution to their problems. You have the knowledge, you have the experience, and you are a resource. You don’t have to be trained. You can produce from Day One.
Those are all huge pluses for you as a candidate. Concentrate on selling yourself as that in the job search.