Combating Ageism in Job Search for Senior Adults Unretiring
July 26, 2022
by Michael Yublosky
Get Hired published an article on LinkedIn last week entitled: “How to tackle ageism while job searching“. There are laws in this country that protect against flagrant and obvious ageism in job search or promotions. But the truth is that obstacles still exist for older workers attempting to change jobs or return to the workforce after retiring.
We must all strive to remove those barriers. Many times they are erected through biases based on myths.
Ageism has been around for quite a while and makes the challenge of finding work harder for senior adults who chose to unretire. The pandemic accelerated the pace in which older workers exited the workforce.
The article claims that ten times as many workers were forced to retire because of unemployment. Now many of them seek to go back to work.
Some common myths about senior adult workers were uncovered by two recent LinkedIn research studies. Their findings included:
- About the same percentage of older and younger workers want flexible work schedules. They feel that this is important.
- Senior adults care about company values more than younger workers do.
- Both groups say they like challenging work that is more impactful.
The author sums up the findings and comes to a pair of conclusions. One, there’s not much difference in values between the generations with regard to work. Generally, they want similar things out of work.
Here are some suggested tactics to help overcome the bias of ageism when looking for work:
1. Problem solving ability is one of these ways. Remember the old sales adage that the interviewer is asking WIIFM – what’s in it for me(us) if we hire you?
So, during the interviewing process try to uncover the pain points the company is trying to relieve. Remember, you can ask questions also. Based on the information, show how you help solve their challenges. Can you deliver results? Increase sales? Be a leader? Prove your worth to the interviewer.
2. Stay current and try to keep up to date on your subject matter. Take classes in your industry, attend events and conferences, maintain your membership in professional organizations, keep in contact with former colleagues, etc. are some ways to do so.
3. Structure your work history around the job. Cut down the verbiage, be concise, and eliminate any dates that can pinpoint your age like high school or college graduation year.
4. Research the company through whatever means available. Use LinkedIn, social media, websites, trade journals, even talk with current and former employees if you can. Learn the jargon and keywords they use. What philosophies do their leaders and executives publicize?
Note: I might add myself – check the various registries to see if the companies are age friendly. Check out our resources at Senior Adult Friendly Companies.