I have one reader who strongly insists that ageism exists.
He told me about one particular interview he had where he was very credentialed and extremely qualified for the role.
He said the company told him after the interview, “I don’t think you will fit in wit
And if the company said it exactly this way, maybe he has a point.
However, I am only getting one side of this story. I am a firm believer in there being two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle is the truth. But knowing I was going to only get one side, I asked my reader a question:
ME: “I’m sorry that happened to you… Did they have an idea how experienced you were from your resume before they called you in for an interview and interviewed you?”
READER: “Yes, my resume shows all my experience and they were well aware of it.”
ME: “Then… I think they were open to hiring someone with your years of experience, for whatever that’s worth.”
Think about it… If a company is going to discriminate, why would they bring you in for an interview, when your resume depicts all you have done and how long you have worked – only to make the case stronger against them by bringing you in to discriminate against you face-to-face?
Yes, there are some dumb companies. I will give you that…
But why would they discriminate against you when they have a good idea you are over 40 or 50 before they even met you?
This is one thing of the many things about the ageism argument that leaves me perplexed.
Maybe you were rejected not simply because you are old…
…Maybe you were rejected because you came across all-knowing, lecturing and “been-there-done-that-and-I’
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…Maybe you weren’t hired because someone else had stronger skills than you did despite how long you have been doing it?
…Maybe because your resume reads more like an obituary bio and less like an achievement-based document. (And you know how fun it could be to hang around dead people!)
Ageism, in my book, is when two people are equally qualified and a company chooses the younger person solely based on stereotypes and biases about the older candidate.
But if a candidate does not have the network, skills or attitude that will flourish best in an environment, then they should not get the job—no matter what age.
Look, I know ageism exists. Just as sexism, racism, and bias of all kinds exist. I am not an idealistic Pollyanna…
But what choice do we have as over 45 year old folk other than to rise up and say, “It’s not right, but I am going to win anyway!”
I won’t let being 47 get in my way… And I am certainly not going to spend my time proving ageism exists.
No… Instead, I spend my time making sure I am the most progressive and current I can be—and give these resources and insights to our readers.
No wallowing oldster here…